The ESPN app for Amazon Fire TVs, Fire TV Sticks, and Fire TV Edition televisions has been updated with new Alexa capabilities that let you jump directly to specific content with a single voice command. First spotted by Reddit users and covered by CordCuttersNews, the ESPN app update notes say: “Now with Alexa Support. ESPN allows you to tune to your favorite sporting event or show by using Alexa. By just asking Alexa to ‘tune’ to your game or network, the ESPN app will start playback and allow you to fast forward, rewind, or even start your event over all with a single command.”
With these new additions, ESPN cable subscribers or ESPN+ subscribers will be able to jump directly to a game by saying “Alexa, tune to the [team] game” either into the Fire TV voice remote or to an external Echo device. If you have multiple apps that support Alexa, you can specify that you want to use the ESPN app by adding “…on ESPN” to your command. Once you’re watching a stream, you’ll be able to control playback using your voice.
This update is likely in preparation for the upcoming Fire TV Cube model which is expected to have hands-free voice control capabilities built-into the device so you don’t need to use a voice remote or external Echo device. There are already numerous apps that support deep Alexa commands like the ones ESPN has just added, but you can probably expect more apps to support Alexa as we get closer to the release of Amazon’s next flagship Fire TV model.
5/10/2018 I’ve been informed that ESPN’s new Alexa capabilities is not available yet but is a feature that will be added in the near future. I’ll update this post when it goes live.
5/16/2018 The ESPN app has now been updated with support for deeper Alexa voice capabilities.