CNN Sports Illustrated

CNN Sports Illustrated

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CNN Sports Illustrated

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CNN Sports Illustrated (or CNN/SI for short) 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 born 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.

In its dying days, CNN/SI added some NASCAR qualifying, Wimbledon matches and televised the now-defunct Women's United Soccer Association and National Lacrosse League.

CNN/SI closed its doors on May 15, 2002. On many cable systems, CNN/SI was replaced by NBA TV. Ironically, 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...
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