Sports | October 11, 2017 10:10 am

Muhammad Ali Enterprises Suing Fox Broadcasting Company for $30 Million

Fox allegedly used Ali's likeness without permission.

Muhammad Ali
Sonny Liston lies out for the count after being KO'd in the first round of his return title fight by world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, Lewiston, Maine, May 25, 1965. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Muhammad Ali Enterprises is suing Fox Broadcasting Company for $30 million after Fox allegedly used Ali’s likeness without permission during a Super Bowl commercial that ran on Fox this year, reports CNN

The suit says that the ad could have reached over 111 million viewers and that Fox could’ve sold it to other advertisers for a total of $30 million, according to CNN. 

The ad was three minutes long. Super Bowl ads usually sell for an average of $5 million for 30 seconds.

Fox did not immediately respond for comment.

CNN writes that the federal lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday, claims the advertisement features a narrator saying “Walk with me. Walk with me as I confront greatness,” while a boxer meant to be Ali, wearing a robe that says “The Greatest. The Lip,” is shown from behind.

There is also footage of Ali boxing, as well as a recording of him shouting, “I am the Greatest!” Muhammad Ali Enterprises claims Fox did not get permission to use his image. Ali’s likeness is owned by the company, who in turn is owned by Authentic Brands Group and the Muhammad Ali Family Trust.

The ad ran before the Super Bowl and also had the Super Bowl’s event logo. Muhammad Ali Enterprises says that the commercial promotes Fox, and that Fox benefited from using Ali’s likeness.

According to CNN, Muhammad Ali Enterprise’s lead counsel released a statement saying that “Fox obtained great value by using Muhammad Ali to promote itself. It should pay for what it took.”

Sciff Hardin is representing Muhammad Ali Enterprises. The firm has experience with lawsuits over the use of superstar athletes, reports CNN, and represented Michael Jordan in 2015, when he won $8.9 million for his image being used in a commemorative issue of Sports Illustrated.