Muhammad Ali Enterprises files $30M lawsuit against Fox

CHICAGO — Muhammad Ali Enterprises on Tuesday filed a $30 million 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."

The lawsuit also says the video "falsely implies" that Ali or Muhammad Ali Enterprises had endorsed Fox. Muhammad Ali Enterprises owns the trademark rights, copyrights, the right of publicity and all other intellectual property rights of Ali.

Eddie Motl, a Fox vice president, declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Two years ago, a federal jury awarded basketball legend Michael Jordan $8.9 million in his lawsuit against a now-defunct supermarket chain for using his identity in an advertisement without his permission. Last year, Sperling filed in Chicago a $30 million lawsuit on behalf of soccer legend Pele, claiming that electronics company Samsung improperly used a Pele look-alike in an advertisement for televisions. The lawsuit said it would hurt the value of his endorsement rights.

You may also like these

Court rejects Cosby's attempt to reseal testimony...

Aug 15, 2016

A federal appeals court has rejected Bill Cosby's effort to reseal his deposition testimony about...

Study finds women competitors dominate NBC's...

Aug 15, 2016

A study finds that nearly 59 percent of the prime-time Olympic competition shown so far on NBC...

Trial date set for ex-Patriots star Hernandez in...

Aug 16, 2016

A judge has set a trial date in February for former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez in...

NBC chairman blasts Trump in private Facebook post

Aug 16, 2016

The chairman of NBC Entertainment is slamming Donald Trump, the network's onetime "Apprentice" star

New Pennsylvania AG was prosecutor who didn't...

Aug 17, 2016

The former county prosecutor taking over the duties of Pennsylvania's convicted attorney general is...

There are so many celebrities out there, but who’s the real Diva? Discover more on your favorite celebrities and get closer to them only here in The Diva Today

Contact us: sales[at]thedivatoday.com