Coca Cola dumps "American Idol" as a sponsor after 13 seasons

Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

Those shots of Paula Abdul sipping from a Coca Cola cup on "American Idol" are long past. But current judges Keith Urban, J. Lo and Harry Connick Jr. aren't going to be doing so either.

In yet another sign of the show's waning influence and reach, Atlanta-based Coca Cola is ending its 13 season relationship with "American Idol" as a sponsor, according to an exclusive story in Variety magazine. "After 13 years, we feel it is the right time for the Coca-Cola brand to venture into new spaces and pursue other opportunities to connect with teens and leverage music as a passion point," the company sent Variety in a statement.

If Coca Cola is seeking the youth audience, "Idol" is no longer it. The show's audience season one averaged 32 years of age. Now the average age is well over 50.

And ratings have fallen by more than 60 percent from its peak year of 2006.

According to ad tracker Kantar, Coca-Cola spent about $49.1 million on “Idol” in 2012 but just $16.3 million last year.

Coke over the years would have Ryan Seacrest interview contestants in a room festooned with Coke logos.

AT&T cut ties after 12 years on the show. Ford appears to be still committed to the show.