[01/08/07 - 10:22 AM]
FOX Broadcasting Company, 19 Entertainment and Fremantlemedia Announce Sponsors for Sixth Season of "American Idol"
Ford, Coca-Cola and Cingular Wireless to all return as the show's official sponsors.

[via press release from FOX]


Ford, Coca-Cola and Cingular Wireless Return as Official Sponsors of Television�s No. 1 Show

Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX), 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia today announced the sponsors for the sixth season of AMERICAN IDOL, which returns Tuesday, Jan. 16 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Wednesday, Jan. 17 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Last season, American Idol-Tuesday and American Idol-Wednesday ranked as the No. 1 and No. 2 programs of the season (out of 200 regular series on the 6-nets) among Adults 18-49, Adults 18-34 and Teens, and did so for 19 consecutive weeks.

FOX, 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia Licensing Worldwide have re-teamed with Ford Motor Company, Coca-Cola and Cingular Wireless as official sponsors of this year�s AMERICAN IDOL.

Season Six of AMERICAN IDOL marks the return of Ford as a major sponsor. Ford has been a leading supporter of AMERICAN IDOL since the show's debut in 2002 and will continue to have a strong presence throughout the upcoming season. Ford vehicles and the Top 12 AMERICAN IDOL contestants will again be featured in exclusive Ford music videos. In addition, Ford will launch a unique consumer promotion that will offer a chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime AMERICAN IDOL experience. AMERICAN IDOL will serve as the key platform to integrate a variety of Ford vehicles, including the new Ford Edge, plus the Fusion, Escape Hybrid and Mustang. Ford will also give the AMERICAN IDOL winner, as well as the runner-up, keys to a new Ford Mustang. Ford is the Official Automotive Sponsor of the show.

For 2007, Coca-Cola will be serving up programs and content designed to bring fans closer to the AMERICAN IDOL experience. Through My Coke Rewards, viewers will be able to submit questions to be posed live on-air by host Ryan Seacrest to the Top 12 contestants. Each week the Idols will be asked selected questions from those entered online at www.mycokerewards.com. At www.americanidol.com, fans will have the chance to submit designs for a new version of the familiar judges� cups that will appear during an episode later in the season. The website will also feature exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photos of the contestants at work and play, presented by Coca-Cola. During the show, contestants will once again hang out in the popular Red Room, while Coca-Cola and My Coke Rewards advertising will air throughout the show. Other activities designed to extend the AMERICAN IDOL experience for consumers will be featured in a variety of retail outlets across the country.

As AMERICAN IDOL�s Official Wireless Telecom Sponsor, Cingular Wireless returns ready to connect IDOL fans to their favorite contestants using text, audio and, for the first time, video � all from the mobile phone.

Building on last season�s success of generating more than 64.5 million text messages, Cingular will once again enable its customers to use their wireless phones to text-message their votes each week, participate in hosted chats with voted-off Top 12 finalists, test their knowledge with IDOL trivia and personalize their wireless phones with Live Idol Tones � ringtones and Answer Tones� of actual Top 12 finalists� performances. Cingular will also feature some exciting new program elements this season, so stay tuned for more details.

Twenty-two-time Emmy-nominated AMERICAN IDOL is created and executive-produced by Simon Fuller, founder of 19 Entertainment, Ltd.; and executive-produced by Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.; Nigel Lythgoe, President, 19 Television; and Ken Warwick, Executive Producer, FremantleMedia North America, Inc.

About FremantleMedia Licensing Worldwide, Americas

FremantleMedia Licensing Worldwide, Americas (FLW, Americas) is the licensing arm of FremantleMedia for North and South America. FremantleMedia one of the largest international creators and producers of program brands in the world, with leading prime time drama, serial drama, entertainment and factual entertainment programming in over 40 territories. FLW, Americas exploits FremantleMedia�s many strong brands, including the award winning American Idol, the world�s longest running game show The Price Is Right, the ever-popular Family Feud and other classic game shows, across multiple off-screen platforms including merchandising campaigns, live events, sponsorship, interactive and wireless support, home entertainment and music publishing. FLW, Americas is also responsible for additional business diversification initiatives including a pioneering wireless channel, Atomic Wedgie, delivering original made-for-mobile video content on demand.

FLW, Americas is part of FremantleMedia North America (FMNA). FMNA is on the leading edge of global broadcast production, developing some of television's most innovative and watched new programming. Based in Santa Monica and with offices in New York, FMNA has produced such genre-bending shows as the musical/reality phenomenon American Idol. In 2005, FremantleMedia programs garnered 16 Emmy nominations, including six for American Idol. Other credits include The Price Is Right (CBS), the longest-running game show in television history, the daily syndicated game show Family Feud, Distraction (Comedy Central), American Inventor (ABC), The Gameshow Marathon (CBS), America�s Got Talent (NBC) and Monarch Cove (Lifetime).

FremantleMedia is the production arm of the RTL Group, Europe's largest television and radio broadcast company. With interests in 34 television channels and 30 radio stations in 10 countries, RTL Group is a division of leading integrated media and entertainment company Bertelsmann AG. For further information, visit www.fremantlemedia.com

About 19 Entertainment

19 Entertainment, Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of CKX, Inc. (NASDAQ: CKXE), was founded by Simon Fuller 21 years ago and acquired by CKX in March 2005. The company is recognized as a leading creator, provider and promoter of globally successful, music-based entertainment, or "Entertainment Brands."

Today, Simon Fuller's 19 Entertainment is wholly owned by CKX Inc (NASDAQ: CKXE), the entertainment rights organization founded by Robert Sillerman, making the company one of the most influential forces in the global entertainment business and with powerful interests in music, sport, fashion and TV.

In 2001, Fuller's 19TV created and produced the television phenomenon that is "Pop Idol." Launched in the UK, this primetime show became an instant hit, drawing record audiences of 13 million viewers per show and an audience share of almost 60 percent. In 2002, AMERICAN IDOL launched in the United States and has gone on to become the biggest entertainment show in the world. When AMERICAN IDOL 5 launched in January 2006. it pulled in an audience of over 35 million viewers and went on to peak at 46 million viewers during the finale in May.

About Ford

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, MI, manufactures and distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With about 300,000 employees and more than 100 plants worldwide, the company�s core and affiliated automotive brands include Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury and Volvo. Its automotive-related services include Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford�s products, please visit www.fordvehicles.com

About Coca-Cola

The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the Company markets four of the world's top five soft drink brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta and Sprite, and a wide range of other beverages, including diet and light soft drinks, waters, juices and juice drinks, teas, coffees, energy and sports drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate exceeding 1.3 billion servings each day. For more information about The Coca-Cola Company, please visit our website at www.thecoca-colacompany.com

About Cingular Wireless

Cingular Wireless is the largest wireless carrier in the United States, serving 58.7 million customers. Cingular is solely owned by AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), a premier communications holding company in the United States and worldwide. Cingular has the largest digital voice and data network in the nation � the ALLOVER� network � and the largest mobile-to-mobile community of any national wireless carrier. Cingular is a leader in third-generation wireless technology, featuring the first widely available HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) service in the world. Cingular is the only U.S. wireless carrier to offer Rollover�, the wireless plan that lets customers keep their unused monthly minutes. Details of the company are available at http://www.cingular.com

  [january 2007]  


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