Jun 10, 2016; Louisville, KY, USA; A banner on display outside the Muhammad Ali Center before the Muhammad Ali memorial service.
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Muhammad Ali passed away eight months before Super Bowl LI between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons was played, and FOX decided to pay tribute to the boxing legend before the big game with a promotional video. That decision could end up costing the network millions.
Ali’s company, Muhammad Ali enterprises, is suing the Fox Broadcasting Company for $30 million for using Ali’s likeness in the promo, which ran on Feb. 3. Deadline obtained a copy of the complaint that was filed in an Illinois court.
“MAE brings these claims for false endorsement and violation of the right of publicity against Fox for the damages caused and profits unjustly gained by Fox for its unauthorized use of Muhammad Ali’s identity,” the complaint reads. “The video uses Ali to define greatness and ultimately to compare the NFL legends to Ali and thus to define them and the Super Bowl as ‘greatness’ too.”
You can see the promo here, though it could soon be taken down by FOX.
The lawsuit states that a $30 million figure was decided upon because that is roughly how much money FOX could have made if it sold the three minutes of air time to other advertisers.
Ali died in June 2016. His daughter, Hana Ali, shared an incredible story of the final moments of the former heavyweight champion’s life.