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Do Shark Tank Sharks Get Any Information On A Product Before Filming?

Although there have been many complaints and concerns from "Shark Tank" fans over the years, the show is wildly successful. Currently, with 14 seasons under its belt, the series has shown no signs of slowing down. Still, fans often wonder how much of the show is genuine and how much is staged or pre-planned.

One question that comes up frequently is whether or not the Sharks actually know anything about the products or businesses before going into the pitch. Are fans seeing their authentic reactions from first exposure or is the show deliberately cultivating that image?

According to a 2023 Forbes article on "Shark Tank," the Sharks actually aren't pre-exposed to the products they'll be pitched. The show's producers screen each business before being accepted, but the Sharks have nothing to do with that process. What viewers see is an edited version of the pitches that actually happen in the tank. Most negotiations run for a minimum of half an hour but can go on for a few. Through the miracle of editing, viewers get the most important or juiciest moments condensed down into about 10 minutes.

Viewers only see a very small portion of the pitches

The deals made on "Shark Tank" aren't set in stone, though. They're handshake deals, meaning that the Shark has agreed to take the next step with the entrepreneur, but it doesn't guarantee something will come from it. Once a deal is made, the Shark's representative follows up with the entrepreneur. At this point, the Shark's team will thoroughly investigate the entrepreneur, their business, and other important information that the show doesn't require upon application. At this stage, the Shark can walk away, which is why so many "Shark Tank" deals seem to fall apart before they ever get going.

"It was more like talking to a loan shark," one anonymous entrepreneur who made a deal with Daymond John told Forbes. "The only time it felt like they wanted to close was the handshake on TV."

However, many "Shark Tank" deals close after the show. Mark Cuban told KMGH Denver (via Yahoo) that his deals are at least 75% decent as of September 2022. "I've had 25% that have done really well or crushed it. 50% that have been good and continue to go on. And 25% where I think to myself, 'What the Hell was I thinking?'" Cuban also praises the show for inspiring people to become entrepreneurs and teaching them savvy business skills. He mentions even having young kids approach him about everything the show has taught them.