A Texas federal jury took less than four hours to reject the SEC‘s claim that the sports and media entrepreneur, and star of ABC’s Shark Tank, had engaged in insider trading in 2004 when he sold his stock in Canadian search engine Mamma.com. “The SEC regulates through litigation, and that’s its own problem,” Dallas Mavericks owner and investor Mark Cuban said at a news conference after the decision was announced. “This is a horrific example of how the government does work.” The government said that Cuban broke the law — and saved himself $750,000 in potential losses — when he made the sale after Mamma.com CEO Guy Faure told him that he planned to dilute the public shares with a private stock offering. The SEC said Cuban had promised to keep the information secret; the exec said he made no such vow. Jurors had to sort through that question, and whether — if Cuban had made a promise — it also meant that he couldn’t sell his stock. The trial started September 30, just 10 days after Shark Tank returned for a fifth season. The decision today to side with the billionaire who controls cable network AXS TV, Landmark Theatres, Magnolia Pictures, and the the NBA team is a setback for SEC Chair Mary Jo White’s effort to show that her agency can effectively attack white-collar crime. Read More »
CNBC has licensed off-network cable rights to ABC’s primetime series Shark Tank. CNBC will begin telecasting the reality series repeats in January of ’14 with an expanded schedule in fall of ’14. Also under the … Read More »
For one side or the other, it looks like a Shark is going to take the stand in his own insider trading trial this fall. Both Shark Tank judge Mark Cuban’s lawyers and attorneys for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission late last week named the entrepreneurial reality series judge as a witness in the upcoming trial. The trial is set to start on September 30 in Texas, 10 days after Season 5 of Shark Tank debuts. Cuban was one of six “will call” individuals named by the SEC (read it here). After naming seven certain witnesses, the Dallas Mavericks and AXS TV chairman’s lawyers said “Mr. Cuban may call the following witnesses if the need arises” including himself in the list of eight (read it here). The federal court trial emerges out of the federal government’s contention that on June 29, 2004 Cuban avoided more than $750,000 in losses by selling 600,000 shares in search engine Mamma.com Inc. The sale allegedly came the day after the CEO of the Canadian-based company confidentially told Cuban that a planned public equity offering on June 29 would dramatically dilute the worth of his stock. Cuban made the sale before the announcement and the nearly 10% drop in the company’s share price. The billionaire denied the charges, saying it was all above board and public.
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Netflix‘s House of Cards – the prettiest dress in the TV store these days – got shut out of the TCA Awards tonight. It had been up for Outstanding New Program and Program … Read More »
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
The ABC entrepreneurial reality series Shark Tank from producer Mark Burnett and Sony TV came into its own as an unscripted dynamo during its third season, topping Friday nights in the key demos and earning a supersizing of its episodic order from 22 to 24. During a post-lunch TCA panel, Shark Tank exec producer Clay Newbill ruminated on why the series seems to have struck such a nerve. It’s no mystery to Newbill. “It embodies the American dream,” he said. “It shows people that entrepreneurism is alive and well in this country. It empowers viewers to believe, ‘I can do it!’” Newbill went on to emphasize that he hears from people who tell him the show changed their lives. It’s pretty heady stuff for a show that’s part of a genre that gets a consistently bad rap. The producer addressed that, too, admitting that reality “has this stigma that it takes advantage of people. Well, not this show. It’s reality TV at its best. It lets real people catapult their dreams into real business success and teaches young people with drive, with passion, and if they really apply themselves, they too can make it. Kids learn the power of the human spirit.” But besides that, Newbill credits the increased popularity to the fact it takes a while for a series like Shark Tank to catch on. “Sony and ABC stuck with us long enough, and we knew the third season would be the charm.”
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