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TVs

Android TV update brings ads to your smart television's home screen

It’s a pilot program that Google is running.

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Android TV now has sponsored content on home screen. 

Dave Zatz via Twitter

Android TV is now showing ads on some television home screens. Users are reporting seeing a row of "sponsored" apps or "promotional channels" on the Android TV home screen. So far, they've shown up on Sony smart TVs, Xiaomi's Mi Box 3, the Nvidia Shield TV and others, according to XDA Developers.

"Android TV is committed to optimizing and personalizing the entertainment experience at home," said a Google spokesperson in an email statement. "As we explore new opportunities to engage the user community, we're running a pilot program to surface sponsored content on the Android TV home screen."

Sony has put up a support page explaining the appearance of sponsored channel. The page says the content can't be manually changed and it's managed by Google directly. But you can prevent it from appearing in the Home menu by creating and enabling a Restricted Profile on your TV and then selecting the apps you'd like to use. Ars Technica earlier spotted the support page. 

First published on April 5, 8:02 a.m. PT.

Updates, 10:13 a.m. PT: Adds Google spokesperson statement.