CNN Sports Illustrated
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2013)|
|CNN Sports Illustrated|
|Launched||December 12, 1996|
|Closed||May 15, 2002|
|Owned by||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 with much fanfare on December 12, 1996.
CNN/SI aimed to provide the most comprehensive sports news service on television, including news from around the country and around the world.
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.
In its dying days, Sports Tonight was exclusive to CNN/SI. CNN/SI added some NASCAR qualifying (tied to NASCAR on TNT), 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, but its operations remain split between Sports Illustrated's New York office, and CNN.com's offices in the CNN Center in Atlanta. Its main competitors are ESPN.com, Yahoo! Sports, Fox Sports on MSN, and CBSSports.com.