Published On: Fri, Jan 16th, 2015

Mark Cuban Negotiates TV Deal Using Disappearing Text App

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Amid the long list of leaked emails from December’s massive Sony hack was an exchange involving billionaire investor Mark Cuban in which he threatened to leave the reality TV show “Shark Tank” over a contract that he deemed insulting, Business Insider said.

The exchange also involved Mark Cuban Companies general counsel Robert Hart and Sony Pictures Television president Steve Mosko. “Shark Tank” is an American reality TV show in which aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their products to a group of “shark” investors.

After the leak, Cuban told Business Insider, the billionaire investor decided to handle negotiations of a new deal over his free texting app Cyber Dust, which features texts that disappear after 20-100 seconds, depending on length.

Following the leak, Cuban told Business Insider his future online interactions with Mosko would be done over Cyber Dust.

Last week Cuban sent a message to all of his Cyber Dust contacts, including Business Insider, that he handled the negotiation of a new contract with Mosko exclusively over Cyber Dust.

The older proposed deal called for a salary of around $30, 000 per episode from seasons 5-7, required he promote the show on any channel it was syndicated on, and even suggested that Sony could copyright Cuban’s “catchphrases” and gestures. Much more importantly was the way that Sony wanted to restrict entrepreneurs’ use of the “Shark Tank” brand in their marketing, Business Insider said.

It’s not the first time Cuban threatened to leave “Shark Tank” due in part to how entrepreneurs were treated. In late 2013, his threat forced the show’s production company Finnmax to remove retroactively a clause that required every “Shark Tank” contestant to give it either 2% of their profits or 5% equity of their company, Business Insider said.


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