Carrie Underwood, the NFL, NBC

She then emailed the song to Underwood's producer, Mark Bright, who allegedly said, "We're going to have to pass".

Bright and music publishing affiliates of Sony Corp and Warner Music Group are among the nine defendants named in the lawsuit, which was filed in Manhattan federal court.

A songwriting team sued country singer Carrie Underwood, the NFL and NBC Wednesday, saying they stole a song and "slightly modified" it to introduce "Sunday Night Football" to viewers last season. She released an album, Home Grown, in October of 2015. However, just over a year later, Underwood debuted her own song, also called "Game On", on the National Football League broadcast.

The songwriter says she attended a conference in Nashville in August of 2017 mainly because she knew Bright was scheduled to attend, and she claims she knew Underwood was looking for a new theme song for the upcoming 2018 season of Sunday Night Football.

Underwood subsequently debuted a new theme song titled "Game On" when Sunday Night Football returned on September 6, 2018. According to Merrill, Bright asked her to send the song to his assistant; she did, and, a couple of months later, received an email passing on using the song. However, Merrill says in her lawsuit, the two songs are "substantially - even strikingly - similar, if not identical" (quote via the Blast).

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"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.

A spokesman for Underwood did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The case, Merrill et al v. Underwood et al, was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NY.

Sam P. Israel, the managing partner of Sam P. Israel PC, called the alleged plagiarism "a blatant attempt by a celebrity singer to rip off other artists' work, and it won't be tolerated". Similarly to the "Game On" situation, McNeill and Lyons allege that they got the song to Underwood's people through a proxy in Nashville.

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