Westwood One Sports, Amazon, and XAPPmedia Collaboration Offers Consumers Groundbreaking March Madness Integration
New York, NY, March 14, 2018 — Westwood One, the largest radio network in the U.S., and the official network radio partner of the NCAA, has worked with Amazon and development partner XAPPmedia to offer Alexa and Westwood One consumers effortless access to Westwood One Sports’ exclusive live audio coverage and post-game recaps of the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.
Fans will be able to hear complete play-by-play action from all 67 men’s basketball games, including the First Four®, every game from all eight first-round and second-round sites, the regional semifinals and finals, plus the Final Four® and National Championship game. In addition, Alexa customers will also be able to hear Westwood One’s coverage of Division II Men’s Basketball Championship, the NIT semifinals and final from Madison Square Garden, and the regional finals, Final Four® and National Championship Game from the Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament.
HERE’S HOW IT WORKS
Customers can enable the Westwood One Sports Alexa skill to listen to a live stream of a game of their choice or tune into the exclusive March Madness Mix Channel — a whiparound channel that takes Westwood One listeners from one tournament site to another to make sure they never miss the best action. Users will also be able to access the most exciting play-by-play highlights and request the day’s schedule to find out what’s coming up next.
They can also ask Alexa for a specific game or score and Alexa will answer, then ask if they’d like to be connected to the Westwood One skill. For example, if an Alexa customer asks for a game or the score of a game still underway (e.g., “Alexa, who’s winning the Purdue game?”), Alexa will respond with the score and then offer to play the live audio stream of the game. If the user says, “yes,” they will be seamlessly be connected to the Westwood One Sports skill to listen live.
If a user asks about a game after it’s over (e.g., “Alexa, did Miami win?”), Alexa will respond with the final score, and offer to play a broadcast recap of the game. If the listener says, “yes,” they will be connected to the Westwood One Sports skill to hear a recap of the game from Westwood One broadcasters.
“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,” said Suzanne Grimes, EVP Corporate Marketing, Cumulus Media and President, Westwood One. “March Madness is a huge cultural event, and we are proud to offer our unrivaled college basketball coverage on the exciting Alexa platform. Westwood One Sports is a legendary brand on the radio and now it is cutting the edge with an unparalleled interactive sports broadcast experience on a smart speaker.”
“Westwood One’s live broadcast of the 2018 NCAA basketball tournament shows that live programming is a perfect fit for Amazon Alexa users,” said Pat Higbie, CEO and co-founder of XAPPmedia. “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. Let the games begin.”
The Westwood One Sports skill launched in February 2018 with daily live content from the Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.
About Westwood One
Westwood One, the national-facing arm of Cumulus Media, offers iconic, nationally syndicated sports, news and entertainment content to 245 million listeners each week across an audio network of 8,000 affiliated broadcast radio stations and media partners. Westwood One is the largest audio broadcast network in America, home to premium content that defines the culture, including the NFL, the NCAA, the Masters, the Olympics, Westwood One Backstage, the GRAMMYs, the Academy of Country Music Awards, the Billboard Music Awards and the American Music Awards. The rapidly growing Westwood One Podcast Network delivers popular network and industry personalities and programs. Westwood One connects listeners with their passions through programs and platforms that have everyone listening. For more information please visit www.westwoodone.com.
Jana Polsky | Westwood One | firstname.lastname@example.org | (212) 641-2101