Lawsuit Alleges NFL and Carrie Underwood Stole “Sunday Night Football” Theme

The suit alleges Underwood plagiarized a YouTube song to create SNF's theme

Carrie Underwood before Super Bowl XLIV. (Elsa/Getty)
Carrie Underwood before Super Bowl XLIV. (Elsa/Getty)
By Evan Bleier / June 20, 2019 12:21 pm

A federal lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York is throwing a flag on the theme song for  Sunday Night Football on NBC.

Filed by Heidi Merrill, Alex Wong, Jeff Cohen and Niclas Lundin, the suit alleges Carrie Underwood, along with NBCUniversal and the National Football League, plagiarized a YouTube song to create SNF’s theme, “Game On.”

According to the plaintiffs, Merrill pitched Underwood’s producer Mark Bright about using her song, also titled “Game On,” on SNF after it was uploaded to the internet two years ago.

The songwriters allege Underwood’s “Game On” is “substantially — even strikingly — similar, if not identical” to Merrill’s song.

Here’s Merrill’s version of “Game On.”

And here’s Underwood’s tune of the same name.

Tim Foster, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs, said the lawsuit was a last resort and that his clients had tried, and failed, to negotiate a resolution.

“Ms. Underwood recorded a song that was substantially similar to the original song submitted through her producer, without giving credit or compensation of any kind to the original songwriters,” Foster told Reuters. “We assume that there will be significant damages.”

The damages which the suit is seeking have not been specified.

An NFL spokesman and NBC Sports spokesperson both declined to comment when reached by Deadline.

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