It’s not a presidential election year but each week Americans, young and old, are tuning in to their televisions and deciding how they will cast their votes for whom they ultimately want to be named the “American Idol.” Cingular Wireless, the Official Telecommunications Sponsor of “American Idol,” is putting a stake in the ground by predicting its customers who are die-hard fans of the show will not only “text their votes” this season and participate in Cingular’s “Idol”- themed, text-based programs, but they will do so in record numbers — topping the 41.5 million text messages recorded in last year’s season.

Clearly, “American Idol” is the most popular TV show in the country, having recently out performed both the Olympics and the Grammys when the programs went head to head. When you combine this fact, with the overall increase in text message usage and the extensive “American Idol” content Cingular is offering this season to its 54 million customers, it is easy to see why the company is so confident.

“Our expectations for a record-breaking year with ‘American Idol’ is not based solely on high hopes; it is grounded in actual results that we’ve realized so far,” said John Burbank, vice president, marketing, Cingular Wireless. “Since we first launched much of our ‘Idol’-themed content six weeks ago, Cingular has realized a significant increase in messaging results. In fact, our messaging results to date are greater than they were this time last year. And what makes this even more impressive is that voting just started.”

Since a text messaging component was first introduced on “American Idol” Season 2 by AT&T Wireless, now part of the Cingular family, there has been a steady increase in overall “American Idol”-related text messages sent each season.

— “American Idol” Season 2: The campaign generated 7.5 million text
messages in its debut season.

— “American Idol” Season 3: A total of 13.5 million text messages were
sent, almost doubling the results of the previous season.

— “American Idol” Season 4: With the merger with AT&T Wireless
complete, Cingular more than tripled the number of “American Idol”
related text messages, with 41.5 million sent throughout the season.

Throughout Season 5, Cingular will introduce a lot of cool content and features to help “American Idol” fans keep up to date on their favorite contestants.

A Cingular fan favorite from last season that will kick off in March is Idol TXT Chats. Cingular will kick off this Idol TXT Chat season with an upcoming chat with Ryan Seacrest. Once it’s down to the Final 12, Cingular customers will have the opportunity to chat with an “Idol” contestant who was eliminated from the previous night’s show each week. Fans will post questions, as part of a group chat, to the “Idol” contestant during a designated time and then will receive a text back with the contestant’s response. Look for more details on Idol TXT Chats as well as other new features from Cingular later in the season.

Exciting features from Cingular available today include:

— Text Voting – Text the word VOTE, then send it to your “Idol’s”
number. You can vote for as many contestants as you want, as often as
you like, during the voting window after each show.

— Vote Number Reminder – To receive text messages listing all the
“Idols” and their codes on your wireless phone each week, just text AI
to short code 3003.

— Idol Wireless Fan Club – Receive “Behind-the-Scenes” picture messages
each week, courtesy of Coca-Cola. To join in the fun, text AI to 6006.

— American Idol $100,000 Text Giveaway – To register for a chance to win
$100,000 cash and a trip for two to the “American Idol” Finale in Los
Angeles, text AI to 4004. For every text message, instant message or
multimedia message that’s sent, you automatically will receive an

— Idol Trivia – To sign up for weekly “American Idol” trivia, text AI to
short code 5005.

Visit for more details on Cingular’s Idol related content and features this season, and watch “American Idol,” Tuesdays and Wednesdays on FOX!

Text Voting Is As Easy As 1, 2, 3!

If you’re an “American Idol” fan but you’ve never picked up your Cingular phone to vote, you just need to follow these three simple steps:

1. On your Cingular Wireless phone, select Menu and start a new message
from the Text Messaging option.

2. Type in the word VOTE, then select Options, and Send.

3. Enter the four-digit number of the contestant(s) you want to vote for,
then select OK. (Contestant numbers are listed during each voting

Cingular offers two easy ways to text message:
— Pay as you go (automatically included with your service – $0.10 a
— Select a text/instant messaging package for as low as $2.99 a month &
get 1 month of unlimited texting so you can vote as often as you like

Most Cingular phones support text messaging. Have an older phone and not sure if it is enabled for text messaging? Visit or dial 611 from your wireless phone to find out if your phone is compatible.

Samsung has partnered with Cingular to feature the Samsung D357 in promotional activities surrounding Cingular’s sponsorship of the 2006 season of “American Idol.” By combining the D357 with Cingular’s advanced digital voice and data network, it’s easier than ever for viewers to be a part of the action and vote for their favorite performers.

The D357 offers the Push to Talk functionality, so users can easily talk to groups of people about their favorite contestants. It is also loaded with Bluetooth connectivity, voice activated dialing, and mobile instant messaging. Two Samsung D357 phones are available for the price of one at $69.99 with a two-year service agreement and after a $50 mail-in rebate and is available at select Cingular Wireless retail locations or via Look for more featured Samsung handsets later in the season. For more information on Samsung products, visit