New skills for Amazon’s “Alexa” digital assistant will provide fans with instant, live information about the NBA playoffs. It also means an expanded presence in the sports market for the skills’ developer, Fresh Digital Group.
Just in time for the 2017 NBA postseason, new NBA playoff Alexa skills are being delivered to device owners. Those interested in the NBA playoffs will be able to ask Alexa questions about game scores, player statistics, game schedules and the playoff bracket, for example.
These new skills represent an expansion of the device’s offerings when it comes to sports. In January, Turner Sports introduced the “Catch Sports” skill. That skill allows users to ask Alexa to recommend a game to watch, along with informing the user of which television channel the game is viewable on. Alexa then debuted some Super-Bowl specific skills in February.
The NBA playoff Alexa skills are also new territory for the developer of these skills, Fresh Digital Group. Fresh already had a strong presence in the space with team-specific skills for NFL and NBA franchises. Creating content branded around the NBA playoffs widens Fresh’s footprint in the platform.
While these skills will be readily available for the NBA playoffs for all Alexa users, the skills are not officially licensed by either the NBA or its member franchises. Simply providing information about players’ careers, game statistics and schedules doesn’t require licensing. In essence, asking Alexa for information about these subjects is no different than typing text into a search bar. Alexa is simply doing the searching for users.
Depending on the popularity of these new skills, it’s possible that Fresh Digital Group could expand its offerings to other sports and events. The NBA playoffs is a great place to start, as the event offers a great time frame for testing a product to see if expanding it is worth the investment.