CNN/Sports Illustrated (CNN/SI) was a 24-hour sports news network. It was created by Time Warner, bringing together its CNN and Sports Illustrated brands and related resources. It was launched on December 12, 1996.
Unlike ESPNews, which provided 30-minute blocks of news and highlights in a similar fashion to CNN Headline News at the time, CNN/SI was fully live daily from 7am to 2am. Their aim was 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.
|Launched||December 12, 1996|
|Closed||May 15, 2002|
|Owned by||Turner Broadcasting System|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Slogan||The 24-hour Sports Information Channel.|
|Replaced by||NBA TV (on many cable systems)|
CNN Headline News
Turner Classic Movies
CNN/SI's closure has been attributed to competition with other all-sports news networks which started around the same time, such as ESPNews and Fox Sports Net's National Sports Report. Though CNN/SI aired exclusive content, 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 resulted in reduced sponsorship. 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. CNN's cancellation of 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 proximate cause for the closure of CNN/SI, which lost all connections to their mother network.
In its final days, Sports Tonight was exclusive to CNN/SI. CNN/SI added NASCAR qualifying, Wimbledon matches, National Lacrosse League matches, and televised the now-defunct Women's United Soccer Association
CNN/SI closed its doors on May 15, 2002. 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.
The CNN/SI name was maintained for Sports Illustrated's online presence, which was located at cnnsi.com. It has since moved to just si.com. In January 2013, CNN acquired Bleacher Report and after Time Warner's spin-off of their publishing assets into Time Inc., ceased all partnerships with Sports Illustrated.
CNN/SI will not rely on a "wheel" of repeating news segments and highlights. Rather, it promises a nineteen-hour "stream" of news reported fresh throughout the day, starting from 7 AM.
|North American television|