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CNN Sports Illustrated

CNN Sports Illustrated
CNNSI logo used from 1996 to 2001.
Launched December 12, 1996
Closed May 15, 2002
Owned by AOL Time Warner
Slogan The 24-hour Sports Information Channel.

CNN Sports Illustrated (CNNSI) was a 24-hour sports news channel. It was created by Time Warner, bringing together its CNN and Sports Illustrated brands and related resources. It was launched on December 12, 1996.[1]

CNN/SI aimed to provide the most comprehensive sports news service on television, bringing in-depth sports news from around the world, and integrating the Internet and television.[2]

What led to CNN/SI's demise was that it had the misfortune of being created at about the same time as all-sports news rivals ESPNews and Fox Sports Net's National Sports Report. Though CNN/SI could boast of exclusives such as the tape of Indiana University player Neil Reed, appearing to be choked by former coach Bob Knight, the channel reached about only 20 million homes, not enough to receive a rating by Nielsen Media Research, which was a killer with sponsors. ESPNews benefited from the leverage ESPN (86.5 million homes) has with cable operators. In contrast, news channel parent CNN didn't have the same clout with cable operators for its all-sports news channel. The sudden end of CNN carrying their flagship sports program, Sports Tonight (which had already been retooled to compete with SportsCenter) in the wake of the September 11 attacks was likely the death knell for CNN/SI, which lost all connections to their mother network.[3]

In its dying days, Sports Tonight was exclusive to CNN/SI. CNN/SI added NASCAR qualifying,[4] Wimbledon matches,[5] National Lacrosse League matches,[6] and televised the now-defunct Women's United Soccer Association[7]

CNN/SI closed its doors on May 15, 2002.[8][9] On many cable systems, CNN/SI was replaced by NBA TV. NBA TV, which launched in 1999, eventually evolved into a joint venture between Time Warner and the NBA that officially launched on October 28, 2008.

While the network closed, its international sports program World Sport continues airing and since 2002 has been produced by CNN International.[10]

CNN/SI website

The CNN/SI name was maintained for Sports Illustrated's online presence, which was located at It has since moved to just In January 2013, CNN acquired Bleacher Report and ceased all partnerships with Sports Illustrated.[11]


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