Major Networks Announce Auston Matthews Programming for 2016-17 Season

by Rob Poirier (@RobFeature)

The Ottawa Senators will begin the 2016-17 season at home tonight, where they'll play host to their arch-rivals, the Toronto Maple Leafs. And while it's expected to be business as usual within the arena, fans watching at home are sure to notice something very different about this year's broadcasts.

You see, after winning the NHL's draft lottery earlier in the summer, the Toronto Maple Leafs stepped up to the podium on June 24th and used the first overall pick to draft Arizona-native Auston Matthews. Since the draft, the Maple Leafs' fan base has been rabidly sniffing out every scrap of available news relating to their would-be saviour. They want all Matthews, all the time. And broadcasters are scrambling to ensure that that's what they'll get.

Wall-to-wall coverage

"We think people are going to love it," TSN's James Duthie explains, when asked about his network's newly-announced Matthews-centric programming strategy. "What we're going to do, as you'll see throughout the year, is we're going to have one camera dedicated to Auston at all times. So, whenever he's on the ice, we'll be able to isolate Auston and offer full, in-depth analysis of his performance."

Not to be outdone, Sportsnet has made public their own plans for focusing on Matthews.

"Come on, any bozo off the street knows that what happens off the ice is just as important as what happens on the ice," Nick Kypreos shouted, kind of sounding like a dick. "If you're just showing this kid while he's on the ice, you're not doing your job! Period!"

With that, Kypreos unveiled Sportsnet's Matthews in Minutes, a daily half-hour program that examines Auston's routine in painstaking detail. The first episode of this new series was screened for members of the media and featured segments dedicated to Matthews' training regimen, diet, and even sleep patterns, all narrated by Don Cherry himself!

Even heroes need their beauty sleep (Image by @Gerv_Rebrand)
"He's gettin' his Zs in there, boy, lemme tell ya," Don croaked over night vision footage of Auston soundly sleeping. "Would ya lookit that beauty right there, folks? He's not doing any of that namby pamby tossin' and turnin' like you'd see from a European, I can tell ya that right now!"

However, if you're reading this and thinking that Sportsnet's new programming seems a little extreme, just wait until you hear what they've got planned over at NBC.

This season, hoping to use the young, American star to capture an American audience, NBC plans to debut a brand new specialty channel they're calling: AUSTONWATCH. This station will broadcast 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing viewers with the ultimate all access look at Matthews' personal life. Watch as a camera crew follows Matthews everywhere he goes – EVEN THE TOILET!! Live commentary is provided by a breathless Pierre McGuire.

NBC is still working on Smell-O-Vision (Image by @Capital_Gains65)
"Let me tell ya, the restrooms in Zurich saw a lot of this last year, and Mr. and Mrs. Matthews, who I know and are great, great people really saw a lot of this when he was growin' up in Scottsdale," McGuire rants. "I spoke to Auston before the season began and he told me that he's been eating a lot of chili trying to bulk up into a real strong young man, which will explain some of the corn you're about to see here!"

So if you're an NHL fan, plan on seeing a whole lot of Auston Matthews this year, whether you want to or not.

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