See photos: YouTube’s 25 Biggest Stars
“Coca-Cola and Fox have mutually decided to end their 13-year ‘American Idol’ partnership,” the two companies said in a joint statement. “We look forward to working together on new collaborations in the future.”
Ford will returning as a key sponsor for the reality series’ Season 14, Fox added. An individual close to the situation told TheWrap that the talent show is in talks with other potential sponsors as well.
“Idol” was once a ratings juggernaut, making it very attractive for advertisers. However, since hitting the series high of a massive 12.6 Live + Same Day average rating in Season 5 in the advertiser-sought 18-49 demographic, the show has steadily dropped.
Last year, “American Idol” pulled a 3.3 average in the demo — obviously far lower, but still a pretty decent number given current TV viewing habits.
Also, the long-running Fox show will scale down to once-a-week when it hits the Top 10 this time around, host Ryan Seacrest revealed late last week. The results will come immediately following the performances.
“American Idol” Season 14 kicks off on Fox with a two-night, three-hour premiere event on Wednesday, Jan. 7 (8 p.m. ET/PT) and Thursday, Jan. 8 (8 p.m. ET/PT). The audition rounds will come from Kansas City, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, New York and San Francisco.
On the first night, new music-centric series “Empire” will follow “Idol” at 9 p.m.