Amazon gives users easier access to live TV on Fire TV devices

The Amazon Channels "On Now" row. (Image: Amazon)

Amazon is rolling out an update for Fire TV that features a new “On Now” row and live channel guide for Amazon Channels subscribers to get quicker access to live TV programming from providers they subscribe to.

Customers will be able to use Alexa to access these live TV streams and launch playback from channels such as HBO, Showtime, Cinemax and Starz. Customers can use commands such as, “Alexa, go to the Channel Guide,” “Alexa, tune to HBO Family,” or “Alexa, go to Showtime.” 

Other updates include the "Recent" row capturing the last “Live” channel and video on demand titles viewed, and the “On Now” row for Amazon live channels that lets customers browse what’s currently on and watch a preview of the live channel. Amazon’s channel guide, accessible from the “On Now” row on Fire TV, now allows customers to browse what’s on now, as well as content that will air in the next 14 days.

RELATED: CBS All Access launches on Amazon Channels

Amazon Channels’ move to give live TV more prevalent placement on Fire TV devices comes after earlier this month the SVOD hub added CBS All Access to its list of available channels. The product is priced at $9.99 per month on Amazon Channels.

Although it’s called All Access commercial-free, live local CBS streams still include the same commercials as the over-the-air broadcast, and select on-demand shows will include promotional interruptions. CBS and Amazon said that the $5.99 limited commercial plan will be available in the future.

“As the first Amazon Channels partner to offer a linear feed of a subscriber’s local broadcast station in addition to video on demand, we’re thrilled to bring live programming to Prime members,” said Rob Gelick, senior vice president and general manager of Digital Platforms at CBS Interactive, in a statement.