Mark Cuban forces ‘Shark Tank’ to give up its equity clause

Shark Tank is far from fake. Up to now, if an entrepreneur appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank, they also had to agree to the following clause, which appeared in the end credits of seasons 1 through 4:


This requirement, which I talked about in a popular post here earlier, has solicited derision from many, including from the entrepreneurs themselves.

Scott Jordan, the owner of Scottevest (Season 3) explained on a post on his site, “merely appearing on the show, whether a deal is made or not, I have to give 5% of my “business” or 2% of the profits forever to the producers. So, my appearance was not free. … Free? They make money out of every deal I make from here forward.” Losing that much of your business is something that kept many entrepreneurs from signing up to appear on the show.

Apparently no more. The following screen shot was posted in a Facebook group for people who have pitched the sharks on Shark Tank. It purports to be from a post by Mark Cuban, who says his continued association with the show depended on the equity or percentage clause. The typos possibly hint that it was composed and posted on the fly:


In fact, the post supposedly by Cuban says, the clause was removed retroactively, which would mean it would not be collected from those who filmed for the show in seasons one through four. It was already not enforced uniformly; in an earlier post on this site, the co-owner of SendABall reported no one from the show ever came to collect for three years.

Indeed, the equity clause no longer appears in the end credits of the show, which would appear to give credence to the news. Now when the show ends, you see only this, the standard disclaimer but no note about equity or shares, indicating the producers no longer get a slice of the all businesses that come before them:


Update, October 2: Inc. has done a follow-up story about this post. Click here for that.

Update 2, October 3: Although no one from Shark Tank is commenting in public thus far, several of the entrepreneurs are confirming the changes. Here’s a screen shot of a discussion among Megan Gage, who got a deal for Hot Tot, and Tiffany Krumins, who got a deal with Barbara for Ava the Elephant in Season One.

Screen Shot 2013-10-03 at 10.38.30 PM

7 Responses to “Mark Cuban forces ‘Shark Tank’ to give up its equity clause”

  1. Qubits Toy Co. (@Qubits_Toy)

    At Qubits Toy Inc. we have been required to report and pay since 2010. You say Mark Cuban supposedly posted this new information, however that is second hand information via facebook – hardly anything worth hanging a hat on. We will believe it once we are properly notified. Season One Shark Tank

    • Jason Cochran

      I have been tying to verify this independently, but Cuban is keeping his head down, possibly because of his SEC court date. But the clause has been removed from the end credits.

  2. dave9

    I always felt like it should have been the opposite, that like Judge Judy, those who appear should at least get some compensation for providing content for the show.

    Whether their business benefits from the publicity of their mere appearance on the show, it can’t be considered a quantifiable benefit. Appearing on national TV also exposes them to a lot of wackos, and unlike the stars of the show, they may not be equipped to deal with that invasion into their lives. Granted it would happen far less often than to those appearing on Judge Judy because the content on JJ is so much more inflammatory.