In a recent Super Bowl broadcast, Fox decided to open up the game between the Falcons and Patriots by airing an ad inspired by the great Muhammad Ali. This was supposed to serve as an honor of all legends of sports.
No, Fox is facing a severe lawsuit by Muhammad Ali Enterprise, worth $30 million. the reason behind the lawsuit is because the network took an illegal direction to showcase the boxing legend.
“Fox obtained great value by using Muhammad Ali to promote itself. It should pay for what it took,” Frederick Sterling, an attorney for Schiff Hardin said.— lead counsel for Muhammad Ali Enterprises — said via Variety.
The high lawsuit sum is due to the fact that Fox charged to have ads aired in support of the Superbowl. As we learned, a 30-second-long ad would cost you $5 million, so imagine how much did it cost this time around, knowing that Ali’s ad was three minutes long.
“Fox’s unauthorized use of Ali’s identity, including his image and persona, in its promotional video was a false or misleading representation of fact that falsely implies Ali’s or MAE’s endorsement of Fox’s services,” the lawsuit states. “Fox’s promotional video uses Ali’s identity to promote Fox and its broadcast services. Fox could have sold the three minutes it used for its promotional video to other advertisers for $30 million.”
The lawsuit further asks for “a permanent injunction requiring Fox to refrain from any use of Ali’s identity without prior authorization from MAE.”
The video is not based on Ali alone, since we are able to spot legends John Elway, Jerry Rice and Tom Brady as in the footage as well. Ultimately, it all came down to the theme inspiration.
This law firm knows its tricks since it recently won in a similar case regarding a Michael Jordan ad. The profits made from the lawsuit were estimated at $8.9 million paid by Sports Illustrated.
Furthermore, Schiff Hardin has his hands elbow-deep in a case against Samsung, that reportedly used footage of Pele in a commercial.
Fox managed to score $500 million in ad revenue during the game. Now, that needs to be processed.
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