The Biz: Shark Tank Changes the Rules
by Stephen Battaglio
Entrepreneurs no longer have to give up a piece of themselves to compete on ABC’s Shark Tank. In past seasons, people who wanted to pitch their product or service to the panel of potential investors had to give up 2 percent of future royalties or a 5 percent equity stake to the show’s production company and ABC. That contractual requirement quietly went away earlier this year, according to two sources involved with the show, and will be applied retroactively to contestants from the past few seasons.
Both sources say that getting rid of the stipulation will bring bigger and better entrepreneurs to the program, since some prospects have been reluctant to go along with the deal. ABC and studio Sony Pictures Television did not comment on the change, but a spokeswoman for the show says there hasn’t been a shortage of people willing to put their ideas in front of the reality hit’s approximately 7 million viewers: 40,000 applications were received for the current season. — Additional reporting by Michael Schneider