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After 12 long years, AT&T ended its relationship as a sponsor for American Idol, as the show struggles to stay relevant.
According to Variety, AT&T said in a statement, “We’ve been proud to be a part of this groundbreaking TV series for the past 12 years. We wish our friends at American Idol continued success.”
This is just one of the many changes American Idol is seeing this season, including a possible venue change for the finale, at Fox’s once dominant reality competition show, but possibly one of the most painful.
AT&T and Idol's partnership paved the way the average viewer can be invested in contestants, giving Ryan Seacrest’s ever important line “AT&T subscribers can text in your vote," and also leading the way for The Voice's similar partnership with Verizon.
The other two large sponsors, Ford Motor Company and Coca-Cola, are still on board for season 13, but the former has cut back its advertising to only the second-night airing of the show.
The new season of American Idol kicks off tonight at 8 p.m. EST on Fox.