Westwood One Sports Brings Every NCAA Tournament Game to Alexa

The Westwood One Sports Alexa skill debuted in February just in time to live-broadcast from the Olympics in PyeongChang. This month it has moved onto a new sport: basketball. Every NCAA basketball tournament game, including the 2018 Division I national championship will be broadcast live on the Westwood One Sports Alexa skill.

Right now there are several games playing and you can simply ask for the game by the school name to start listening. There is also a regularly updated highlights clip, the “Mix” which takes you around to various games and you can access the full game schedule. Suzanne Grimes, EVP, corporate marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One commneted:

It is a well designed interaction and offers insight into how media can be effectively distributed through a customer Alexa skill. It was our collective vision to create a seamless experience for our passionate listeners. Directly enabling the Westwood One skill and asking for a game or score takes our live audio broadcast and Alexa to a new level.

Favorable Reviews from Users

Apparently some Alexa users agree. There are several reviews for the app referring to the Olympics broadcast. However, an Alexa skill review posted today refers to the NCAA broadcast feature and gave it five stars. The reviewer pointed out the channel hopping option this provides to the visually impaired.

Cumulus | Westwood One collaborated with Amazon and XAPPmedia to bring the current Alexa skill to users. Westwood One is the official radio broadcaster for many top sporting events beyond the Olympics and NCAA basketball so we might be seeing a trend here of revolving sports available through the skill. It is interesting to note that Westwood One is not a radio station, but instead syndicates content to 8,000 radio stations across the U.S. With Alexa, Westwood One can take its content directly to listeners and provide them the opportunity to access a variety of events broadcasting simultaneously, something liner radio cannot do. XAPPmedia CEO and co-founder Pat Higbie commented:

We already know that listening to music and radio are popular use cases on Alexa-enabled devices. Incorporating live sporting events simply expands the offering while providing greater convenience and value for users.

The Voicebot Smart Speaker Consumer Adoption Report found that listening to radio was among the top five use cases that consumer’s had ever tried, as well as use monthly, weekly and daily. Adding live event broadcasts can only help drive more radio listening through Alexa. If you like college basketball, Westwood One Sports is worth checking out on Alexa.

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