An amateur sports podcaster wants to put the New York Rangers in the penalty box for allegedly stealing his voice and using it in their advertisements.
Anthony Rivardo, a college senior at Stetson University in Florida who runs the “Fireside Rangers” podcast, is suing the Blueshirts and Madison Square Garden, claiming they “ripped off” parts of his work.
Snippets of Rivardo saying, “What could propel the Rangers to having the perfect dream year” and “I think there’s another really exciting year in store for the New York Rangers” turned up in the Original Six team’s “Time is Now” promotional campaign — but the team didn’t get his permission and didn’t pay him, he claims in a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit.
“Fireside Rangers” has 700 subscribers and more than 76,000 views, but neither of the two August podcasts the team used in its commercials had more than 1,500 views, Rivardo said in court papers.
The team “scoured hours of Anthony’s Podcast episodes, stealing his voice and commentary from at least two episodes and implanting them directly into a forty-second commercial video advertisement,” he alleged in the legal filing.
“The Rangers pay close attention to Anthony, sifting through hours of his YouTube videos to extract sound bites to include in advertisements that make use of Anthony’s voice and likeness for commercial gain, all while not paying Anthony a dime,” he claimed in the lawsuit.
Rivardo, who was not immediately able to be reached for comment, is seeking unspecified damages.
Madison Square Garden did not immediately comment on the allegations.