The stakes are high in a lawsuit filed against NBC, the NFL and country singer Carrie Underwood over the song Underwood has been singing to introduce NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” broadcasts. The show has been a huge ratings draw for the network.
The AP reports that the lawsuit was filed Wednesday by a songwriting team that alleges the song was stolen and “slightly modified” before it was used as last season’s introduction to “Sunday Night Football.”
“The lawsuit in Manhattan federal court noted that Underwood’s ‘Game On’ even carried the same title as the song singer Heidi Merrill of Newport Beach, California, put on an internet music video two years ago,” the AP reports. “The lawsuit sought unspecified damages, saying the copyright was violated on the song that had been pitched to Underwood’s representatives in 2017.”
The plaintiffs are a songwriting team made up of four individuals, including Merrill, from California, Tennessee and Sweden.
“Merrill pitched the song to Underwood’s producer in August 2017 during a conference in Nashville, Tennessee, where Underwood lives, the lawsuit said,” the AP reports, noting that Merrill was informed in October 2017 that Underwood’s team had opted to pass.
“The lawsuit claimed that the song that introduced 17 NFL Sunday night games through the season beginning in September 2018 ‘is substantially — even strikingly — similar, if not identical,’ to the song Underwood’s team had rejected,” the AP adds.