CNNSI logo used from 1996 to 1999.
CountryUnited States
Broadcast areaNationwide
Picture format480i (SDTV)
OwnerTurner Broadcasting System
Sister channelsCNN
CNN Headline News
TBS Superstation
Turner South
Turner Classic Movies
Cartoon Network
LaunchedDecember 12, 1996; 25 years ago (December 12, 1996)
ClosedMay 15, 2002; 20 years ago (May 15, 2002)
Replaced byNBA TV (on many cable systems)

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

CNN/SI's first logo
CNN/SI's first logo

Other news networks like ESPNews, provided 30-minute blocks of news and highlights in a similar fashion to CNN Headline News at the time, but CNN/SI was live daily from 7am to 2am.[2] Their purpose 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.[3]


CNN/SI's closure had 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 only 20 million homes, not adequate enough to receive a rating by Nielsen Media Research, which reduced sponsorship. ESPNews, in contrast, benefited from being bundled with ESPN (86.5 million homes). The news channel parent CNN did not have the same influence 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) after the September 11 attacks contributed to the closure of CNN/SI, as it lost all connections to their mother network.[4]

Near its closure, Sports Tonight was exclusive to CNN/SI. CNN/SI added NASCAR qualifying,[5] Wimbledon matches,[6] National Lacrosse League matches,[7] and televised the now-defunct Women's United Soccer Association[8]

CNN/SI shut down on May 15, 2002.[9][10] 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.[11]


CNN Sports Illustrated site logo (2002)
CNN Sports Illustrated site logo (2002)

The CNN/SI name was maintained for Sports Illustrated's online presence, which was located at In January 2013, CNN acquired Bleacher Report and after Time Warner's spin-off of their publishing assets into Time Inc. (and subsequently sale to Meredith Corporation and later, to IAC's Dotdash), they dropped all use of the Sports Illustrated name.[12]



  1. ^ Kent, Milton (December 12, 1996). "CNN/SI pairing channels energy into sports information battle". The Baltimore Sun. MediaWatch. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  2. ^ "New York Magazine". New York Media, LLC. 23 December 1996. 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.
  3. ^ "CNN 20: CNN/SI Debuts, December 12, 1996". December 12, 2000. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  4. ^ Diamond Joe (January 24, 2013). "Rachel Nichols' New Quarters Are At CNN, Turner Sports". Archived from the original on July 1, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  5. ^ Glick, Shav (August 10, 2001). "Long Is Closing In on His F-1 Dream". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on February 3, 2015. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  6. ^ "Nick Charles to Host CNN/Sports Illustrated's Exclusive Prime Time Wimbledon Coverage". BW SportsWire. Business Wire. June 21, 2000. Retrieved June 6, 2016 – via
  7. ^ "National Lacrosse League Tabs CNN/Sports Illustrated As National Broadcast Partner" (Press release). National Lacrosse League. August 20, 2001. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  8. ^ "WUSA: TNT and CNNSI to show 22 games". Soccer America. February 20, 2001. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  9. ^ Kaplan, Paul (April 6, 2002). "CNN/Sports Illustrated Channel to Go Off Air in May". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Highbeam Research. Archived from the original on September 21, 2014. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  10. ^ Wilkerson, David B. (April 6, 2002). "AOL: CNN/SI to shut down May 15". MarketWatch. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  11. ^ Welsh, James (May 9, 2002). "CNNI sports unaffected by CNN/SI shutdown". Digital Spy. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  12. ^ Thielman, Sam (January 30, 2013). "CNN's Bleacher Report Programming Launches Saturday". Adweek. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "The Channel". November 9, 2001. Archived from the original on November 10, 2001. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
  14. ^ "THE SPORTING LIFE WITH JIM HUBER". Archived from the original on August 16, 2000. Retrieved September 24, 2017.