[BETA] News & Sports Sections in tvOS/iOS

Today we're introducing an experimental News section and Sports section in Channels.

NOTE: These are off by default, you can turn them on under Settings > Library

Once you turn them on, you'll now have dedicated sections for News and Sports. They are each their own section. This allows you to browse your News or Sports all on their own.


These sections give you a contextual section just for this type of content. We know a lot of you are sports and news junkies, and this sort of content can sometimes feel awkward mixed into your normal library.

So, now you can optionally turn on these dedicated sections and find your News and Sports all in one place.

What do the sections show?

Both sections have 4 main rows of content when you visit them.

  • On Now - Events or News programs that are currently airing.
  • Recently Aired - Recent recordings of news or sports
  • On Later - Upcoming events or news programs later on today
  • Your Sports / News - The list of shows/leagues in your library.

Anything else?

When you turn on the News or Sports sections, it not only makes them available in the sidebar navigation, it also excludes all of this content from showing in the rest of your library and Up Next. This cleans up browsing the rest of library by making News and Sports available in dedicated sections.

The On Later row is influenced by the fine tuning settings that you made for On Later.


Please check these out and let us know if anything isn't working, or what might make them better for you.



UPDATE: as the navigation sidebar is the only way to get to these right now, this is not quite available in iOS yet, but will be soon from the buttons in the Library tab just like the Kids and Recordings sections.

Super dope, thank you!

These are now available on iOS.

The Sports Section now has a setting to limit items shown in On Now and On Later to live events only.

This is great, thanks! I really dig the horizontal scroll.

I previously created channel collections for News and Sports. In the sports collection, I added a few more genres (sports non-event, sports related, sports talk). Will there be an option to fine-tune the on now section in these new sections to include other related genres?

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There's a possibility, as you saw with the last update providing a preference for Live Only.

I was mostly waiting till someone spoke up. I'm still not sure how easy it will be to do, but I'll dig in soon. I figured this would come up. (The same probably goes for Newsmagazine genre for News)

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Got it. Thanks for considering it. I won’t delete my channel collections just yet.

This isn't designed to replace those. Your Sports channel collection still has its place nicely in the guide.

This is more of a section to go to for all your sports needs. What's on, what games do you have recorded, what's coming on later, etc.

But I do understand "Sports" can have a narrow or wide definition for everyone.

Makes perfect sense. So then an unrelated question… will we see the horizontal scroll implemented in other sections of the UI? :nerd_face:

I appreciate this new feature and the clarification about what its intended for. I’m seeing a bunch of non-news items in the News section though. A lot of it is from Pluto and other custom channels (due to shoddy guide data, I’m sure) so if it’s possible for us to customize and/or remove certain shows, channels or sources from inclusion here, I think it would be more useful.

This is the other thing I was waiting for. Pluto seems to think every talk show, game show, and MTV show is NEWS, and honestly, has just wrecked this feature completely.

I've already considered a way to allowlist sources for these sections, but again, I was just waiting for it to come up.

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Yeah, in the News section right now I see “The Mind of a Chef” from “Food” channel on Pluto, amidst lots of other actual news content.

“NBC Nightly News” is showing twice: once for the currently recording airing, and another for a previous recording that I have included with my “News” Virtual Channel (that includes a mix of news recordings from the past few days.) I am not sure if content from Virtual Channels are meant be included here too, it feels a bit counterintuitive to me. And if it does interfere, I’d consider removing my “News” Virtual Channel entirely since the utility of this feature may supplant it? I do like how the Virtual Channel auto-plays with no interaction required though.

Excluding virtual channels completely seems like the way to go.

Based on this, will content from EPlusTV be included?

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If it tags airings correctly, which I believe it does..

It’s just using the same data and mechanisms that Automatic Channels uses.


Thanks to this enhancement, I excluded Pluto and Stirr, and immediately my News & Sports Sections became more accurate and useful. Beautiful!

As of the latest Channels DVR Server pre-release and TestFlight beta, you can now exclude sources from the News and Sports sections independently. Now you can avoid your Pluto channels from shoving unwanted airings the On Now and On Later sections.

These settings are only available server side right now, but will eventually be added to the app.

More Content

Additionally, 2 new settings were added to let you get a little more out of your News and Sports sections.

  • Optionally include Sports Talk shows in the Sports Section
  • Optionally include News Magazine shows in the News Section

These will not only bring them into On Now and On Later, but also your recently recorded shows. This will also hide them when browsing your main library.

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As of the latest TestFlight beta, Video Groups and Videos now participate in the News and Sports sections. So now you can add any back catalog sports or news items or anything weird and custom that can't normally be indexed, and see them in these new exclusive sections.

Just tag your content correctly and they will show up in the sections. I'm working on some docs now, but here's the gist of the rules it uses:


shows, episodes, video groups, and videos with the category tag of Sports event will show up. If you have Include Sports Talk enabled, it will pull in any of that content with the genres set to Sports talk.


shows, episodes, video groups, and videos with the genres tag of News will show up. If you have Include News Magazines enabled, it will pull in any of that content with the genres set to Newsmagazine.

A reminder that any new videos added to a Video Group will adopt the Video Group's categories and genres.