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[01/20/09 - 12:04 PM]
FOX Broadcasting Company, 19 Entertainment and Fremantlemedia Announce Sponsors for Eighth Season of "American Idol"
Ford Motor Company, Coca-Cola and AT&T will return as the official sponsors.

[via press release from FOX]

FOX BROADCASTING COMPANY, 19 ENTERTAINMENT AND FREMANTLEMEDIA ANNOUNCE SPONSORS FOR EIGHTH SEASON OF "AMERICAN IDOL"

Ford, Coca-Cola and AT&T Return as Official Sponsors of Television's No. 1 Show

Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX), 19 Entertainment Ltd. and FremantleMedia North America today announced they have re-teamed with Ford Motor Company, Coca-Cola and AT&T as official sponsors of this year's AMERICAN IDOL which continues with auditions in San Francisco Tuesday, Jan. 20 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) and in Louisville Wednesday, Jan. 21 (8:00-9:03 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

Season Eight of AMERICAN IDOL marks the return of Ford as the official automotive sponsor of the show. Ford has been a leading partner 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 each week in exclusive Ford music videos. This content, along with candid "making of" segments featuring the contestants, will also be available on americanidol.com. In addition, Ford will launch a truly unique consumer promotion that will offer fans an exclusive chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime AMERICAN IDOL experience. More details will be announced shortly.

AMERICAN IDOL will serve as a key platform to integrate a variety of Ford vehicles, including the all-new 2010 Ford Fusion and Fusion Hybrid the most fuel efficient mid-size sedans in America. The show will also feature the all-new 2010 Mustang as well as the Focus, Edge, Escape Hybrid and for the first time ever Flex. Ford will award the AMERICAN IDOL winner, as well as the runner-up, an all-new 2010 Fusion Hybrid.

Both AMERICAN IDOL and Coca-Cola bring friends and families together to enjoy simple moments of happiness and fun. As a returning partner, Coca-Cola is offering programs that will bring fans closer to the AMERICAN IDOL experience. Exclusive behind-the-scenes content will be available through MyCokeRewards.com, giving fans an inside look at the contestant experience. Through the "Coca-Cola Judges Cup Design" program, fans will again be able to develop their own special cup graphics at MyCokeRewards.com for the opportunity to have their cup design appear on the show. Their cups can also be showcased on their personal pages on MySpace, Facebook and other websites. Coca-Cola will visit submitted personal web pages looking for cups on display, and award a trip to an AMERICAN IDOL show to one lucky fan. In addition, the popular Red Room will make its eighth appearance on the set, providing contestants with a cool place to hang out during the show. Other Coca-Cola activities designed to enhance the AMERICAN IDOL experience will be featured in a variety of retail outlets across the country.

As AMERICAN IDOL's Official Wireless Sponsor, AT&T returns ready to wirelessly connect fans to their favorite IDOL moments directly from their mobile phones. Building on last season's phenomenal success of generating more than 78 million text messages, AT&T is once again allowing its wireless customers to participate in hosted text chats with the voted-off Top 12 finalists, test their knowledge of AMERICAN IDOL trivia and, of course, text their votes for their favorite contestants during the voting window after each show. AT&T will also offer Outrageous Tones and Video featuring actual audition performances (subject to music clearances). Although all AT&T wireless customers can text their votes for as many AMERICAN IDOL contestants as they want as often as the want, customers with unlimited messaging plans can cast unlimited votes via text message for one monthly price.

As with previous seasons, AT&T customers can also personalize their wireless phones with Live Idol Tones � ring tones and Answer Tones of this season's Top 12 finalists' performances. Additionally, AT&T will also offer many new exciting program elements this season, including the AT&T $1,000,000 Idol Sweepstakes, a national promotion that will award one lucky winner tickets to the AMERICAN IDOL finale along with a chance to win a one-million-dollar prize. Fans can visit AT&T stores or go online at www.att.com/idol for more details about the sweepstakes as well as other exciting IDOL-related programs this season.**

AMERICAN IDOL is created and executive-produced by Simon Fuller, founder of 19 Entertainment; and executive-produced by Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia North America; and Ken Warwick, Executive Producer, FremantleMedia North America.

**No Purchase Necessary. Standard text messaging rates apply. Must be resident of U.S. or Puerto Rico, 16 or older, to enter. For free entry mail a 3 1/2"x5" card with your name, address, phone number and date of birth to "American Idol $1,000,000 Sweepstakes," P.O. Box 8022, Westport, CT 06888. Complete rules available at www.att.com/idolrules. Ends 05/01/2009. Weekly entrants automatically entered into Grand Prize Drawing. Odds of winning Grand Prize Trip depend on number of entries received. Odds of winning $1,000,000 prize 1:12 for Grand Prize Trip winner. Grand Prize value: $570,000 (annuitized $1,000,000). Void where prohibited.

About FremantleMedia North America

FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) is the U.S. production division of global media giant FremantleMedia. Based in Burbank, California, FMNA produces entertaining and innovative television programs for network, cable and syndicated platforms, including the Emmy-nominated musical/reality phenomenon AMERICAN IDOL (FOX), American Idol Rewind (syndicated), American Idol Extra (Fox Reality), America's Got Talent (NBC), Celebrity Family Feud (NBC), OSBOURNES: RELOADED (FOX), HOLE IN THE WALL (FOX), Farmer Wants A Wife (The CW), The Phone (MTV), Rock The Cradle (MTV), Can You Duet (CMT), The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency (Oxygen), Match Game (TBS), Family Feud (syndicated), Million Dollar Password (CBS), and the longest-running game show in television history, The Price Is Right (CBS).

About FremantleMedia Enterprises & FremantleMedia

FremantleMedia Enterprises is the brand extension arm of FremantleMedia, offering a one-stop-shop for all Licensing, Distribution and Home Entertainment. It is a division of FremantleMedia, one of the largest international creators and producers of entertainment brands in the world with leading prime time drama, serial drama, entertainment and factual entertainment programming in over 40 countries worldwide. FremantleMedia is a subsidiary of RTL Group, Europe's largest television and radio broadcast company, which is 90% owned by Bertelsmann AG, an integrated media and entertainment company that commands leading positions in the world's media markets. For further information, visit www.fremantlemedia.com

About 19 Entertainment Ltd

Simon Fuller's 19 Entertainment Ltd. is recognized as a lead creator, provider and promoter of globally successful entertainment and music brands of today. The company has attracted a unique team of exceptionally creative executives, who work together to integrate and leverage activity across television, sports, film, touring, merchandising, music publishing, recording and artist management. 19 Founder/CEO Simon Fuller has developed and managed some of the biggest entertainment properties of our time, with credits that include the creation of TV phenomenon AMERICAN IDOL, SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE, and the HBO series Little Britain USA. 19's unique talent includes legendary musical icon Annie Lennox, country music sensation Carrie Underwood, the pop group sensation Spice Girls, and IDOL alumni Chris Daughtry and David Cook, supermodel Claudia Schiffer and soccer icon David Beckham.

About CKX, Inc.

CKX, Inc. is engaged in the ownership, development and commercial utilization of entertainment content. To date, the Company has focused on acquiring globally recognized entertainment content and related assets, including the rights to the name, image and likeness of Elvis Presley, the operations of Graceland, the rights to the name, image and likeness of Muhammad Ali and proprietary rights to the IDOLS television brand, including the American Idol series in the United States and local adaptations of the IDOLS television show format which, collectively, air in over 100 countries around the world. On June 1, 2007 CKX entered into a merger agreement with 19X, Inc., a private company owned and controlled by Mr. Sillerman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CKX, and Simon R. Fuller, a director of CKX and the Chief Executive Officer of 19 Entertainment Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CKX, that will result in the sale of CKX to 19X. For more information about CKX, Inc., visit its corporate website at www.ckx.com.

About Ford

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 224,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company's core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.





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