Best sports deal ever? How the Silnas outsmarted the NBA

Wednesday April 9th, 2014
Don Schupak (center) helped Daniel Silna (far right) and his brother Ozzie (not pictured) strike the deal.
Courtesy of Arthur Hundhausen

Schupak countered with a masterstroke: He inserted an intentionally broad definition of broadcast revenues, a clause that could one day make the contract applicable to distribution channels unimaginable in 1976. "I was blunt during these discussions," Schupak wrote in a 2012 legal declaration. "Rather than narrow the definition of TV revenues, I insisted instead that we add a new sentence [to] emphasize that this was a broad definition that could not be evaded or made obsolete."

The Silnas signed a deal in '76 that entitled them to a cut of the NBA's broadcast revenues in perpetuity.
Damian Dovargane/AP

Time travel was beyond the Silnas. But give them credit for glimpsing the future, envisioning the virtually limitless revenue that would come from sports media.

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