Muhammad Ali Enterprises claims that Fox used Muhammad Ali’s “name, image and likeness as the centerpiece of its three-minute promotional video” before its broadcast of the Super Bowl last February.
CHICAGO—Muhammad Ali Enterprises on Tuesday filed a $30 million (U.S.) federal lawsuit against Fox Broadcasting Company, claiming Fox used without permission the late boxer’s identity in a video that aired just before its broadcast of the Super Bowl last February.
In the lawsuit filed in Chicago, Muhammad Ali Enterprises contends that Fox used Ali’s “name, image and likeness as the centerpiece of its three-minute promotional video” before its broadcast of the game that attracted a national audience of 111 million viewers.
In explaining just how valuable Ali’s name and image were to Fox, the lawsuit contends that Fox could have sold those three minutes of time just before the start of the Super Bowl to advertisers for $30 million.
“Fox obtained great value by using Muhammad Ali to promote itself,” attorney Frederick J. Sperling, who filed the lawsuit, said in a statement. “It should pay for what it took.”
The lawsuit contends that the video, which included the images of NFL greats such as Joe Montana, Vince Lombardi and Tom Brady, was “far more” than a tribute to Ali eight months after his death. It says the video was done in such a way as to “define greatness and ultimately compare the NFL legends to Ali and thus to define them and the Super Bowl as ‘greatness’ too.”