In September 2001, Mark Cuban and co-founder Philip Garvin launched HDNet, the world's first national television network broadcasting all of its programming in spectacular 1080i high-definition television (HDTV). Fueled by Cuban's business leadership and enthusiasm, HDNet has quickly emerged as the leading provider of quality HDTV news, entertainment and sports programming.
Mark Cuban, who grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, was an entrepreneur at an early age. He began with several small businesses that he launched as a teen, and then put himself through Indiana University by doing everything from providing disco lessons to starting a chain letter. He always seemed to be selling what people wanted. Soon after college, Cuban started his own computer consulting firm, MicroSolutions. By 1990, after seven years of nonstop work, the company was grossing $30 million a year. It was then sold to Compuserve. Cuban retired, but not for long.
In 1995, he and partner Todd Wagner co-founded Broadcast.com, an Internet service that provided streaming audio and video of live news, radio, television and sporting events. Broadcast.com then gained notoriety when it showcased events such as President Clinton's Grand Jury testimony and a Victoria's Secret fashion show. In launching Broadcast.com, Cuban hired a group of industrious and inventive employees, offering stock options in lieu of big paychecks. The gamble paid off when Broadcast.com went public, and was then purchased by Yahoo in 1999, making Cuban one of the wealthiest people in the country.
In January of 2000, Cuban fulfilled a dream by purchasing the Dallas Mavericks NBA franchise. The face of the organization began to change immediately. He was successful in instilling a sense of pride and passion into Mavericks' fans by being the ultimate role model, cheering the team from the stands. He also became the only owner in team sports to encourage fan interaction through email on his own personal computer. His commitment to do everything in his power to improve the team has paid off, as the Mavericks finished the 2002-03 season with a franchise record 60 wins.
Today, Cuban's passion is high definition television, and he firmly believes HD is the next step in TV's evolution. His company operates two 24x7 all-HD networks, HDNet and HDNet Movies. HDNet, the leader in high definition broadcasting, produces and televises more hours of original HDTV sports, entertainment and news programming each week than any other network. HDNet Movies also features movies produced and finished in true 1080i high-definition. Live HDNet sports productions include National Hockey League games, Major League Soccer games, NASCAR and CART auto racing, boxing, horse racing, and college football, basketball and baseball games. The HDNet networks are carried on both major satellite providers DIRECTV and DISH Network; and major cable providers including Adelphia Communications, Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable and others.
Cuban has partnered once again with Todd Wagner to create 2929 Entertainment, an entertainment holding company that owns 100% of Landmark Theaters, Magnolia Pictures Distribution, and Rysher Entertainment, and holds a stake in Lions Gate Entertainment. 2929 has also created 2929 Productions to produce television and theatrical releases and HDNet Films to produce high-definition movies.
Cuban is an active investor in leading and cutting-edge technologies and continues to be a sought-after speaker.