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World Wrestling Entertainment : ENTERTAINMENTINC Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (form 10-Q) | MarketScreener

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DOLPHIN ENTERTAINMENT : MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS (form 10-Q) | MarketScreener

You should read the following discussion in conjunction with the consolidated
financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this report.

Our operations are organized around the following principal activities:

Media:

?The Media segment reflects the production and monetization of long-form and
short-form video content across various platforms, including WWE Network, pay
television, digital and social media, as well as filmed entertainment. Across
these platforms, revenues principally consist of content rights fees associated
with the distribution of our programming content, subscriptions to WWE Network,
and advertising and sponsorships.

Live Events:

?Live events provide ongoing content for our media platforms. Live Event segment
revenues consist primarily of ticket sales, including primary and secondary
distribution, revenues from events for which we receive a fixed fee, as well as
the sale of travel packages associated with the Company’s global live events.

Consumer Products:

?The Consumer Products segment engages in the merchandising of WWE branded
products, such as video games, toys and apparel, through licensing arrangements
and direct-to-consumer sales. Revenues principally consist of royalties and
licensee fees related to WWE branded products, and sales of merchandise
distributed at our live events and through eCommerce platforms.

Results of Operation

The Company presents Adjusted OIBDA as the primary measure of segment profit
(loss). The Company defines Adjusted OIBDA as operating income before
depreciation and amortization, excluding stock-based compensation, certain
impairment charges and other non-recurring material items. Adjusted OIBDA
includes depreciation and amortization expenses directly related to supporting
the operations of our segments, including content production asset amortization,
depreciation and amortization of costs related to content delivery and
technology assets utilized for our WWE Network, as well as amortization of
right-of-use assets related to finance leases of equipment used to produce and
broadcast our live events. The Company believes the presentation of Adjusted
OIBDA is relevant and useful for investors because it allows investors to view
our segment performance in the same manner as the primary method used by
management to evaluate segment performance and make decisions about allocating
resources. Additionally, we believe that Adjusted OIBDA is a primary measure
used by media investors, analysts and peers for comparative purposes.

Adjusted OIBDA is a non-GAAP financial measure and may be different than
similarly titled non-GAAP financial measures used by other companies. A
limitation of Adjusted OIBDA is that it excludes depreciation and amortization,
which represents the periodic charge for certain fixed assets and intangible
assets used in our business. Additionally, Adjusted OIBDA excludes stock-based
compensation, a non-cash expense that may vary between periods with limited
correlation to underlying operating performance, as well as other non-recurring
material items. Adjusted OIBDA should not be regarded as an alternative to
operating income or net income as an indicator of operating performance, or to
the statement of cash flows as a measure of liquidity, nor should it be
considered in isolation or as a substitute for financial measures prepared in
accordance with GAAP. We believe that operating income is the most directly
comparable GAAP financial measure to Adjusted OIBDA. See Note 3, Segment
Information, in the accompanying consolidated financial statements for a
reconciliation of Adjusted OIBDA to operating income for the periods presented.

Unallocated corporate general and administrative expenses largely relate to
corporate functions such as finance, legal, human resources, facilities and
information technology. These unallocated corporate general and administrative
expenses will be shown, as applicable, as a reconciling item in tables where
segment and consolidated results are both shown.


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Summary

In December 2019, an outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus (“COVID-19”) began
in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. In March 2020, the World Health Organization
declared COVID-19 a pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the
global economy, disrupted global supply chains and created significant
volatility and disruption of financial markets. COVID-19 has resulted in
restrictions, postponements and cancellations of various events, such as the
relocation of WrestleMania 36 and the cancellation of ticketed events due to
public health concerns. The impact of COVID-19 to our 2020 results had a greater
impact on our live events and consumer products segments, which are highly
dependent on ticket sales and purchases of merchandise by consumers at our live
events. Our Media segment was impacted to a lesser extent since a large portion
of these revenues are derived from contractual rights fees from our domestic and
international distribution arrangements. We continue to deliver the weekly
wrestling content associated with these arrangements (e.g. RAW, SmackDown and
NXT) without ticketed audiences. We will monitor the developments of COVID-19
and actively manage our business to respond to the potential impacts.
Additionally, please refer to Part II, Item 1A, Risk Factors, which provides a
discussion of risk factors related to COVID-19.

Three Months Ended June 30, 2020 compared to Three Months Ended June 30, 2019

(dollars in millions)


The following tables present our consolidated results followed by our Adjusted
OIBDA results:

                                              Three Months Ended
                                                   June 30,            Increase
                                             2020             2019    (decrease)
Net revenues
Media                                     $     200.1$ 197.0          2 %
Live Events                                       1.0           48.8       (98) %
Consumer Products                                22.3           23.1        (3) %
Total net revenues (1)                          223.4          268.9       (17) %
Operating expenses
Media                                            99.2          149.0       (33) %
Live Events                                       4.6           32.1       (86) %
Consumer Products                                13.6           16.3       (17) %
Total operating expenses (2)                    117.4          197.4       (41) %
Marketing and selling expenses
Media                                            15.6           18.9       (17) %
Live Events                                       0.9            4.3       (79) %
Consumer Products                                 1.0            1.7       (41) %
Total marketing and selling expenses (3)         17.5           24.9       (30) %
General and administrative expenses              22.0           23.6        (7) %
Depreciation and amortization                    10.8            5.9         83 %
Operating income                                 55.7           17.1        226 %
Interest expense                                  9.1            4.0        128 %
Other income, net                                 8.5            0.8        963 %
Income before income taxes                       55.1           13.9        296 %
Provision for income taxes                       11.3            3.5        223 %
Net income                                $      43.8$  10.4        321 %

(1)Our consolidated net revenues decreased by $45.5 million, or 17%, in the
current year quarter as compared to the prior year quarter. This decrease was
driven by $50.2 million of lower ticket and merchandise sales from our live
events due to the cancellation of ticketed events due to public health concerns
as a result of COVID-19, coupled with the timing of our large-scale
international event, Super ShowDown. These declines were partially offset by
$63.9 million in incremental revenues primarily associated with the October 2019
renewal of our key domestic distribution agreements of our flagship programs,
RAW and SmackDown. For further analysis, refer to Management’s Discussion and
Analysis of our business segments.

(2)Our consolidated operating expenses decreased by $80.0 million, or 41%, in
the current year quarter as compared to the prior year quarter. This decrease
was primarily driven by $34.9 million of lower content creation and event
related costs due to the cancellation of ticketed events resulting from COVID-19
and the production of content from our training facility at a lower cost,
coupled with the timing of our large-scale international event, Super ShowDown.
The current year quarter also includes $6.7 million of lower management
incentive and stock compensation costs, as well as the impact of various
short-term cost reductions that were implemented as a result of COVID-19. For
further analysis, refer to Management’s Discussion and Analysis of our business
segments.

(3)Our consolidated marketing and selling expenses decreased by $7.4 million, or
30%, in the current year quarter as compared to the prior year quarter. This
decrease was primarily driven by $3.9 million of lower advertising and
promotional costs due to the cancellation of ticketed events resulting from
COVID-19, coupled with a decline of $1.5 million of management incentive and
stock compensation costs. For further analysis, refer to Management’s Discussion
and Analysis of our business segments.


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                                                               Three Months Ended
                                                                    June 30,
                                                          2020                    2019
Reconciliation of Operating Income to Adjusted
OIBDA                                                         % of Rev                % of Rev
Operating income                                 $    55.7       25 %     $   17.1        6 %
Depreciation and amortization                         10.8        5 %          5.9        2 %
Stock-based compensation                               7.0        3 %         11.6        4 %
Other adjustments                                        -        - %            -        - %
Adjusted OIBDA                                   $    73.5       33 %     $   34.6       13 %


                         Three Months Ended
                              June 30,            Increase
                         2020            2019    (decrease)
Adjusted OIBDA
Media                 $      90.5$   37.5        141 %
Live Events                 (4.2)          13.3      (132) %
Consumer Products             8.1           6.2         31 %
Corporate                  (20.9)        (22.4)          7 %
Total Adjusted OIBDA  $      73.5$   34.6        112 %


Media

The following tables present the performance results and key drivers for our
Media segment (dollars in millions, except where noted):


                                                          Three Months Ended
                                                               June 30,              Increase
                                                          2020          2019        (decrease)
Net Revenues
Network (including pay-per-view)                       $      49.4$      51.8         (5) %
Core content rights fees (1)                                 132.9          69.0          93 %
Advertising and sponsorship                                   13.3          18.9        (30) %
Other (2)                                                      4.5          57.3        (92) %
Total net revenues                                     $     200.1$     197.0           2 %

Operating Metrics
Number of paid WWE Network subscribers at period end     1,690,000     1,597,000           6 %
Domestic                                                 1,229,500     1,167,100           5 %
International (3)                                          460,500       429,900           7 %
Number of average paid WWE Network subscribers           1,661,400     1,687,600         (2) %
Domestic                                                 1,207,300     1,236,600         (2) %
International (3)                                          454,100       451,000           1 %


(1)Core content rights fees consist primarily of licensing revenues earned from
the distribution of our flagship programs, RAW and SmackDown, as well as our NXT
programming, through global broadcast, pay television and digital platforms.

(2)Other revenues within our Media segment reflect revenues earned from the
distribution of other WWE content, including, but not limited to, certain live
in-ring programming content in international markets, scripted, reality and
other programming, as well as theatrical and direct-to-home video releases.

(3)Metrics reflect subscribers who are direct customers of WWE Network and
estimated subscribers under licensed partner agreements, which have different
economic terms for WWE Network.


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                                                               Three Months Ended
                                                                    June 30,
                                                          2020                    2019
Reconciliation of Operating Income to Adjusted
OIBDA                                                         % of Rev                % of Rev
Operating income                                 $    81.6       41 %     $   26.9       14 %
Depreciation and amortization                          3.8        2 %          2.1        1 %
Stock-based compensation                               5.1        3 %          8.5        4 %
Other adjustments                                        -        - %            -        - %
Adjusted OIBDA                                   $    90.5       45 %     $   37.5       19 %

Media net revenues increased by $3.1 million, or 2%, in the current year quarter
as compared to the prior year quarter. Our core content rights fees increased by
$63.9 million, or 93%, driven primarily by the October 2019 renewal of our key
domestic distribution agreements of our flagship programs, RAW and SmackDown.
These increases were partially offset by a decline in Other revenues of $52.8
million
, or 92%, and lower sales of advertising and sponsorships of $5.6
million
, or 30%, primarily driven by the timing of our large-scale international
event, Super ShowDown, which occurred in June 2019 with no comparable event
during the current year quarter. Network revenues, which includes revenues
generated by WWE Network subscriptions and pay-per-view, declined by $2.4
million
, or 5%, primarily due to $1.8 million of lower revenues driven by a
decline in pay-per-view buys and, to a lesser extent, a decline in average paid
subscribers. The domestic subscription pricing of WWE Network at June 30, 2020
is $9.99 per month with no minimum commitment.

Media Adjusted OIBDA as a percentage of revenues increased in the current year
quarter as compared to the prior year quarter. This increase was driven by
increased revenues of $63.9 million due to the renewals of our key domestic
distribution agreements, as discussed above, coupled with a $11.5 million
reduction in content creation and production related costs due to the
cancellation of ticketed events resulting from COVID-19 and the production of
content from our training facility at a lower cost. The current year quarter
also includes the impact of various short-term cost reductions that were
implemented as a result of COVID-19. These increases were partially offset by
the timing of our large-scale international event, Super ShowDown.

Live Events

The following tables present the performance results and key drivers for our
Live Events segment (dollars in millions, except where noted):

                                                  Three Months Ended
                                                       June 30,            Increase
                                                 2020            2019     (decrease)
Net Revenues
North American ticket sales                    $      -        $    33.6      (100) %
International ticket sales                            -              9.5      (100) %
Advertising and sponsorship                         0.3              0.8       (63) %
Other (1)                                           0.7              4.9       (86) %
Total net revenues                             $    1.0$    48.8       (98) %

Operating Metrics (2)
Total live event attendance                           -          421,400      (100) %
Number of North American events                       -               53      (100) %
Average North American attendance                     -            5,820      (100) %

Average North American ticket price (dollars) $ – $ 94.56 (100) %
Number of international events

                        -               23        100 %
Average international attendance                      -            4,910          - %

Average international ticket price (dollars) $ – $ 83.34 – %

(1)Other revenues within our Live Events segment primarily consists of the sale
of travel packages associated with the Company’s global live events and
commission earned through secondary ticketing, as well as revenues from events
for which the Company receives a fixed fee.

(2)Metrics exclude the events for our domestic and United Kingdom NXT brands.
These are our developmental brands that typically conduct their events in
smaller venues with lower ticket prices. We did not conduct any ticketed NXT
events in the current year quarter as a result of COVID-19. We conducted 51
events with paid attendance of 43,200 and average ticket prices of $54.50 in the
prior year quarter.


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                                                              Three Months Ended
                                                                   June 30,
                                                         2020                   2019
Reconciliation of Operating (Loss) Income to
Adjusted OIBDA                                              % of Rev                % of Rev
Operating (loss) income                          $  (4.5)     (450) %   $   12.4       25 %
Depreciation and amortization                           -         - %          -        - %
Stock-based compensation                              0.3        30 %        0.9        2 %
Other adjustments                                       -         - %          -        - %
Adjusted OIBDA                                   $  (4.2)     (420) %   $   13.3       27 %

Live Events net revenues, which include revenues from ticket sales and travel
packages, decreased by $47.8 million, or 98%, in the current year quarter as
compared to the prior year quarter. Revenues from our North American ticket
sales decreased by $33.6 million, or 100%, due to the impact of 53 fewer events
during the current year quarter, primarily due to the cancellation of ticketed
events as a result of public health concerns related to COVID-19. Revenues from
our international ticket sales decreased by $9.5 million, or 100%, due to the
impact of 23 fewer events during the current year quarter, primarily due to the
cancellation of ticketed events as a result of COVID-19.

Live Events Adjusted OIBDA as a percentage of revenues decreased in the current
year quarter as compared to the prior year quarter. This decrease was primarily
driven by the $43.1 million reduction in ticket sales for our global events as
discussed above, partially offset by a $26.1 million reduction in event related
costs due to the impact of fewer events.

Consumer Products

The following tables present the performance results and key drivers for our
Consumer Products segment (dollars in millions, except where noted):

                                                      Three Months Ended
                                                           June 30,             Increase
                                                       2020         2019       (decrease)
Net Revenues
Consumer product licensing                          $       9.7$     9.4           3 %
eCommerce                                                  12.6         6.6          91 %
Venue merchandise                                             -         7.1       (100) %
Total net revenues                                  $      22.3$    23.1         (3) %

Operating Metrics
Average eCommerce revenue per order (dollars) $ 58.36$ 47.64 23 %
Number of eCommerce orders

                              215,500     138,100          56 %
Venue merchandise domestic per capita spending
(dollars)                                           $         -   $   12.62       (100) %


                                                                Three Months Ended
                                                                     June 30,
                                                           2020                      2019
Reconciliation of Operating Income to Adjusted
OIBDA                                                            % of Rev                % of Rev
Operating income                                 $     7.6          34 %     $    5.2       23 %
Depreciation and amortization                            -           - %            -        - %
Stock-based compensation                               0.5           2 %          1.0        4 %
Other adjustments                                        -           - %            -        - %
Adjusted OIBDA                                   $     8.1          36 %     $    6.2       27 %

Consumer Products net revenues decreased by $0.8 million, or 3%, in the current
year quarter as compared to the prior year quarter. Venue merchandise revenues
decreased by $7.1 million, or 100%, driven by the cancellation of ticketed
events in the current year quarter due to public health concerns as a result of
COVID-19. This decline was partially offset by increased eCommerce revenues of
$6.0 million, or 91%, primarily due to a 56% increase in the volume of online
merchandise orders, coupled with a 23% increase in average revenue per order,
which was driven, in part, by the introduction and redesign of new title belts.


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Consumer Products Adjusted OIBDA as a percentage of revenues increased in the
current year quarter as compared to the prior year quarter. This increase was
primarily driven by the $1.1 million decline in event related costs due to the
cancellation of ticketed events as a result of COVID-19.

Corporate

Unallocated corporate general and administrative expenses largely relate to
corporate administrative functions, including finance, investor relations,
community relations, corporate communications, information technology, legal,
human resources and our Board of Directors. The Company does not allocate these
general and administrative expenses to its business segments.


                                                                  Three Months Ended
                                                                       June 30,
                                                             2020                   2019
Reconciliation of Operating Loss to Adjusted OIBDA              % of Rev                % of Rev
Operating loss                                       $ (29.0)      (13) %   $ (27.4)      (10) %
Depreciation and amortization                             7.0         3 %        3.8         1 %
Stock-based compensation                                  1.1         0 %        1.2         0 %
Other adjustments                                           -         - %          -         - %
Adjusted OIBDA                                       $ (20.9)       (9) %   $ (22.4)       (8) %

Corporate Adjusted OIBDA as a percentage of total revenues was essentially
unchanged in the current year quarter as compared to the prior year quarter.

Depreciation and Amortization

(dollars in millions)

                                    Three Months Ended
                                         June 30,              Increase
                                       2020            2019   (decrease)
Depreciation and amortization  $      10.8$ 5.9        83 %


Depreciation and amortization expense increased by $4.9 million, or 83%, in the
current year quarter as compared to the prior year quarter, primarily driven by
additional expenses of $2.8 million associated with the Company’s workspace
strategy plan, which includes the amortization related to the right-of-use asset
for the Company’s new global headquarters lease, which commenced on July 1,
2019
, and the impact of other prior year capital expenditures.

Interest Expense

(dollars in millions)

                        Three Months Ended
                             June 30,              Increase
                           2020            2019   (decrease)
Interest expense  $       9.1$ 4.0        128 %

Interest expense increased by $5.1 million in the current year quarter as
compared to the prior year quarter, primarily driven by expense of $4.2 million
associated with the Company’s new global headquarters lease, which commenced on
July 1, 2019 and is accounted for as a finance lease. The remaining portion of
interest expense relates primarily to interest and amortization associated with
our convertible notes, the revolving credit facility, other finance leases,
mortgage and aircraft financing.

Other Income, Net

(dollars in millions)

                         Three Months Ended
                              June 30,              Increase
                            2020            2019   (decrease)
Other income, net  $       8.5$ 0.8        963 %

Other income, net is comprised of interest income, gains and losses recorded on
our equity investments, realized translation gains and losses, and rental
income. The increase of $7.7 million in the current year quarter is driven by
the recognition of an unrealized holding gain of $7.9 million resulting from
valuation adjustments in our marketable equity investments, primarily
DraftKings.


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As the underlying stock prices of our marketable equity investments fluctuate,
the Company is exposed to future earnings volatility to the extent we continue
to hold these investments.

Income Taxes

(dollars in millions)

                                 Three Months Ended
                                      June 30,              Increase
                                2020               2019    (decrease)
Provision for income taxes  $     11.3$ 3.5         223 %
Effective tax rate                  20 %             25 %

The decrease in the effective tax rate in the current year quarter as compared
to the prior year quarter was primarily driven by increased deductions
associated with foreign derived intangible income (FDII).


?

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Six Months Ended June 30, 2020 compared to Six Months Ended June 30, 2019

(dollars in millions)


The following tables present our consolidated results followed by our Adjusted
OIBDA results:

                                             Six Months Ended
                                                 June 30,           Increase
                                             2020          2019    (decrease)
Net revenues
Media                                     $    456.7$ 332.4         37 %
Live Events                                     18.5         75.0       (75) %
Consumer Products                               39.2         43.9       (11) %
Total net revenues (1)                         514.4        451.3         14 %
Operating expenses
Media                                          243.6        247.5        (2) %
Live Events                                     22.6         54.7       (59) %
Consumer Products                               26.6         30.6       (13) %
Total operating expenses (2)                   292.8        332.8       (12) %
Marketing and selling expenses
Media                                           34.5         36.7        (6) %
Live Events                                      3.7          8.1       (54) %
Consumer Products                                2.0          3.2       (38) %

Total marketing and selling expenses (3) 40.2 48.0 (16) %
General and administrative expenses

             50.7         47.9          6 %
Depreciation and amortization                   21.7         12.3         76 %
Operating income                               109.0         10.3        958 %
Interest expense                                17.3         10.3         68 %
Other income, net                              (1.9)          2.6      (173) %
Income before income taxes                      89.8          2.6      3,354 %
Provision for income taxes                      19.8          0.6      3,200 %
Net income                                $     70.0$   2.0      3,400 %

(1)Our consolidated net revenues increased by $63.1 million, or 14%, in the
current year period as compared to the prior year period. This increase was
primarily driven by $129.0 million in incremental revenues primarily associated
with the October 2019 renewal of our key domestic distribution agreements of our
flagship programs, RAW and SmackDown. This increase was partially offset by a
decline of $60.7 million of lower ticket and merchandise sales due to the
staging of 124 fewer events, including the cancellation of ticketed events due
to public health concerns as a result of COVID-19. For further analysis, refer
to Management’s Discussion and Analysis of our business segments.

(2)Our consolidated operating expenses decreased by $40.0 million, or 12%, in
the current year period as compared to the prior year period. This decrease was
primarily driven by $24.5 million of lower content creation and event related
costs due to the cancellation of ticketed events resulting from COVID-19 and the
production of content from our training facility at a lower cost. The current
year period also includes $6.2 million of lower management incentive and stock
compensation costs, as well as the impact of various short-term cost reductions
that were implemented as a result of COVID-19. For further analysis, refer to
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of our business segments.

(3)Our consolidated marketing and selling expenses decreased by $7.8 million, or
16%, in the current year period as compared to the prior year period. This
decrease was primarily driven by $3.7 million of lower advertising and
promotional costs due the cancellation of ticketed events resulting from
COVID-19, coupled with a decline of $2.9 million of management incentive and
stock compensation costs. For further analysis, refer to Management’s Discussion
and Analysis of our business segments.


                                                              Six Months Ended
                                                                  June 30,
                                                        2020                    2019
Reconciliation of Operating Income to
Adjusted OIBDA                                              % of Rev                % of Rev
Operating income                                $  109.0       21 %     $   10.3        2 %
Depreciation and amortization                       21.7        4 %         12.3        3 %
Stock-based compensation                            20.1        4 %         24.4        5 %
Other adjustments                                      -        - %            -        - %
Adjusted OIBDA                                  $  150.8       29 %     $   47.0       10 %


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                        Six Months Ended
                            June 30,         Increase
                         2020       2019    (decrease)
Adjusted OIBDA
Media                 $    193.1$   66.0        193 %
Live Events                (6.8)      14.1      (148) %
Consumer Products           11.9      12.2        (2) %
Corporate                 (47.4)    (45.3)        (5) %

Total Adjusted OIBDA $ 150.8$ 47.0 221 %

Media

The following tables present the performance results and key drivers for our
Media segment (dollars in millions, except where noted):


                                                           Six Months Ended
                                                               June 30,             Increase
                                                          2020          2019       (decrease)
Net Revenues
Network (including pay-per-view)                       $      92.9$      98.8        (6) %
Core content rights fees (1)                                 266.1         137.1         94 %
Advertising and sponsorship                                   30.7          29.8          3 %
Other (2)                                                     67.0          66.7          0 %
Total net revenues                                     $     456.7$     332.4         37 %

Operating Metrics
Number of paid WWE Network subscribers at period end 1,690,000 1,597,000 6 %
Domestic

                                                 1,229,500     1,167,100          5 %
International (3)                                          460,500       429,900          7 %
Number of average paid WWE Network subscribers           1,561,300     1,636,200        (5) %
Domestic                                                 1,130,400     1,197,000        (6) %
International (3)                                          430,900       439,200        (2) %


(1)Core content rights fees consist primarily of licensing revenues earned from
the distribution of our flagship programs, RAW and SmackDown, as well as our NXT
programming, through global broadcast, pay television and digital platforms.

(2)Other revenues within our Media segment reflect revenues earned from the
distribution of other WWE content, including, but not limited to, certain live
in-ring programming content in international markets, scripted, reality and
other programming, as well as theatrical and direct-to-home video releases.

(3)Metrics reflect subscribers who are direct customers of WWE Network and
estimated subscribers under licensed partner agreements, which have different
economic terms for WWE Network.


                                                              Six Months Ended
                                                                  June 30,
                                                        2020                    2019
Reconciliation of Operating Income to
Adjusted OIBDA                                              % of Rev                % of Rev
Operating income                                $  170.9       37 %     $   43.2       13 %
Depreciation and amortization                        7.7        2 %          4.9        1 %
Stock-based compensation                            14.5        3 %         17.9        5 %
Other adjustments                                      -        - %            -        - %
Adjusted OIBDA                                  $  193.1       42 %     $   66.0       20 %

Media net revenues increased by $124.3 million, or 37%, in the current year
period as compared to the prior year period. Our core content rights fees
increased by $129.0 million, or 94%, driven primarily by the October 2019
renewal of our key domestic distribution agreements of our flagship programs,
RAW and SmackDown. This increase was partially offset by a decline in Network
revenues, which includes revenues generated by WWE Network subscriptions and
pay-per-view, of $5.9 million, or 6%, primarily due to a decline in average paid
subscribers. The domestic subscription pricing of WWE Network at June 30, 2020
is $9.99 per month with no minimum commitment.


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Media Adjusted OIBDA as a percentage of revenues increased in the current year
period as compared to the prior year period. This increase was driven by
increased revenues of $129.0 million due to the renewals of our key domestic
distribution agreements, as discussed above.

Live Events

The following tables present the performance results and key drivers for our
Live Events segment (dollars in millions, except where noted):

                                                 Six Months Ended
                                                     June 30,         Increase
                                                 2020       2019     (decrease)
Net Revenues
North American ticket sales                    $    15.2$    57.7       (74) %
International ticket sales                           0.2        9.7       (98) %
Advertising and sponsorship                          0.4        1.2       (67) %
Other (1)                                            2.7        6.4       (58) %
Total net revenues                             $    18.5$    75.0       (75) %

Operating Metrics (2)
Total live event attendance                      259,000    850,000       (70) %
Number of North American events                       41        143       (71) %
Average North American attendance                  6,320      5,150         23 %

Average North American ticket price (dollars) $ 53.46$ 70.03 (24) %
Number of international events

                         1         23       (96) %
Average international attendance                       -      4,910      (100) %

Average international ticket price (dollars) $ – $ 83.39 (100) %

(1)Other revenues within our Live Events segment primarily consists of the sale
of travel packages associated with the Company’s global live events and
commission earned through secondary ticketing, as well as revenues from events
for which the Company receives a fixed fee.

(2)Metrics exclude the events for our domestic and United Kingdom NXT brands.
These are our developmental brands that typically conduct their events in
smaller venues with lower ticket prices. We conducted 44 ticketed NXT events
with paid attendance of 40,900 and average ticket prices of $37.36 in the
current year period as compared to 106 events with paid attendance of 84,600 and
average ticket prices of $45.09 in the prior year period.


                                                              Six Months Ended
                                                                  June 30,
                                                        2020                   2019
Reconciliation of Operating (Loss) Income to
Adjusted OIBDA                                             % of Rev                % of Rev
Operating (loss) income                         $  (7.7)      (42) %   $   12.2       16 %
Depreciation and amortization                          -         - %          -        - %
Stock-based compensation                             0.9         5 %        1.9        3 %
Other adjustments                                      -         - %          -        - %
Adjusted OIBDA                                  $  (6.8)      (37) %   $   14.1       19 %

Live Events net revenues, which include revenues from ticket sales and travel
packages, decreased by $56.5 million, or 75%, in the current year period as
compared to the prior year period. Revenues from our North American ticket sales
decreased by $42.5 million, or 74%, due to the impact of 102 fewer events in the
current year period, largely driven by the cancellation of ticketed events as a
result of COVID-19. Revenues from our international ticket sales decreased by
$9.5 million, or 98%, due to the impact of 22 fewer events in the current year
period, largely driven by the cancellation of ticketed events as a result of
COVID-19. The remaining reduction in the number of global live events resulted
from the Company’s ongoing efforts to optimize the profitability of our touring
schedule.

Live Events Adjusted OIBDA as a percentage of revenues decreased in the current
year period as compared to the prior year period. This decrease was primarily
driven by the $52.0 million reduction in ticket sales for our global events, as
discussed above, partially offset by a $29.6 million reduction in event related
costs due to the cancellation of ticketed events resulting from COVID-19.


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Consumer Products

The following tables present the performance results and key drivers for our
Consumer Products segment (dollars in millions, except where noted):

                                                      Six Months Ended
                                                          June 30,            Increase
                                                      2020        2019       (decrease)
Net Revenues
Consumer product licensing                          $    17.4$    18.8         (7) %
eCommerce                                                18.6        13.2          41 %
Venue merchandise                                         3.2        11.9        (73) %
Total net revenues                                  $    39.2$    43.9        (11) %

Operating Metrics
Average eCommerce revenue per order (dollars) $ 55.18$ 47.07 17 %
Number of eCommerce orders

                            335,600     279,300          20 %
Venue merchandise domestic per capita spending
(dollars)                                           $   10.41$   10.82         (4) %


                                                              Six Months Ended
                                                                  June 30,
                                                        2020                    2019
Reconciliation of Operating Income to
Adjusted OIBDA                                              % of Rev                % of Rev
Operating income                                $   10.5       27 %     $   10.2       23 %
Depreciation and amortization                          -        - %            -        - %
Stock-based compensation                             1.4        4 %          2.0        5 %
Other adjustments                                      -        - %            -        - %
Adjusted OIBDA                                  $   11.9       30 %     $   12.2       28 %

Consumer Products net revenues decreased by $4.7 million, or 11%, in the current
year period as compared to the prior year period. Venue merchandise revenues
decreased by $8.7 million, or 73%, primarily driven by the cancellation of
ticketed events in the current year period due to public health concerns as a
result of COVID-19. This decline was partially offset by increased eCommerce
revenues of $5.4 million, or 41%, primarily due to a 20% increase in the volume
of online merchandise orders, coupled with a 17% increase in average revenue per
order.

Consumer Products Adjusted OIBDA as a percentage of revenues was essentially
unchanged in the current year period as compared to the prior year period.

Corporate

Unallocated corporate general and administrative expenses largely relate to
corporate administrative functions, including finance, investor relations,
community relations, corporate communications, information technology, legal,
human resources and our Board of Directors. The Company does not allocate these
general and administrative expenses to its business segments.


                                                                   Six Months Ended
                                                                       June 30,
                                                             2020                   2019
Reconciliation of Operating Loss to Adjusted OIBDA              % of Rev                % of Rev
Operating loss                                       $ (64.7)      (13) %   $ (55.3)      (12) %
Depreciation and amortization                            14.0         3 %        7.4         2 %
Stock-based compensation                                  3.3         1 %        2.6         1 %
Other adjustments                                           -         - %          -         - %
Adjusted OIBDA                                       $ (47.4)       (9) %   $ (45.3)      (10) %

Corporate Adjusted OIBDA as a percentage of total revenues was essentially
unchanged in the current year period as compared to the prior year period.


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Depreciation and Amortization

(dollars in millions)

                                    Six Months Ended
                                        June 30,            Increase
                                     2020          2019    (decrease)

Depreciation and amortization $ 21.7$ 12.3 76 %

Depreciation and amortization expense increased by $9.4 million, or 76%, in the
current year period as compared to the prior year period, primarily driven by
additional expenses of $5.8 million associated with Company’s workspace strategy
plan, which includes the amortization related to the right-of-use asset for the
Company’s new global headquarters lease, which commenced on July 1, 2019, and
the impact of other prior year capital expenditures.

Interest Expense

(dollars in millions)

                       Six Months Ended
                           June 30,            Increase
                        2020          2019    (decrease)
Interest expense  $     17.3$ 10.3        68 %

Interest expense increased by $7.0 million in the current year period as
compared to the prior year period, primarily driven by expense of $8.4 million
associated with the Company’s new global headquarters lease, which commenced on
July 1, 2019 and is accounted for as a finance lease. The prior year period
included additional nonrecurring interest expense of $1.4 million related to our
convertible notes. The remaining portion of interest expense relates primarily
to interest and amortization associated with our convertible notes, the
revolving credit facility, other finance leases, mortgage and aircraft
financing.

Other (Expense) Income, Net

(dollars in millions)

                                  Six Months Ended
                                      June 30,            Increase
                                    2020          2019   (decrease)

Other (expense) income, net $ (1.9)$ 2.6 (173) %

Other (expense) income, net is comprised of interest income, gains and losses
recorded on our equity investments, realized translation gains and losses, and
rental income. The decline of $4.5 million in the current year period as
compared to the prior year period is primarily driven by impairment charges of
$11.5 million on our investments in an apparel and lifestyle brand and a themed
attraction touring company resulting from significant adverse changes in the
economic and market conditions caused by COVID-19 combined with lower sales
forecasts, partially offset by the recognition of a net unrealized holding gain
of $7.7 million resulting from a valuation adjustment in our marketable equity
investments, primarily DraftKings.


As the underlying stock prices of our marketable equity investments fluctuate,
the Company is exposed to future earnings volatility to the extent we continue
to hold these investments.

Income Taxes

(dollars in millions)

                                 Six Months Ended
                                     June 30,            Increase
                                2020            2019    (decrease)
Provision for income taxes  $    19.8$ 0.6        3,200 %
Effective tax rate                 22 %           20 %

The effective tax rate in the current year period of 22% approximates the
Company’s currently projected annual effective tax rate for the year ended
December 31, 2020, excluding the impact of any discrete, non-recurring tax
items.


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Liquidity and Capital Resources

We had cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments of $547.9 million
and $250.5 million as of June 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019, respectively. Our
short-term investments consist primarily of U.S.Treasury securities, corporate
bonds, municipal bonds, including pre-refunded municipal bonds, and government
agency bonds. Our debt balance totaled $414.8 million and $214.4 million as of
June 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019, respectively, and includes the carrying
value of $191.6 million and $188.7 million related to our convertible senior
notes due 2023 as of June 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019, respectively.

The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the global economy, disrupted
business operations and created significant volatility and disruption to
financial markets. Significant uncertainty remains as to the potential impact of
the COVID-19 pandemic on our operations, and on the global economy as a whole.
The extent and duration of the pandemic could continue to disrupt global markets
and may affect our ability to generate cash from operations. Additionally,
please refer to Part II, Item 1A, Risk Factors, which provides a discussion of
risk factors related to COVID-19.

In order to preserve sufficient liquidity during these uncertain times, the
Company has delayed construction on its new headquarters office space. The
Company did not make any repurchases of common stock under our approved $500.0
million
share repurchase program, which was temporarily suspended in April 2020.
We may resume repurchases under this program, with any such repurchases being
executed opportunistically, i.e. when the purchase price is below the Company’s
intrinsic value as conservatively estimated by management, subject to the
Company’s business outlook and liquidity at such time as well as whether share
repurchases compare favorably to other capital allocation alternatives. To
further strengthen the Company’s liquidity, as a precautionary measure, on April
16, 2020
, the Company borrowed $200.0 million under its Revolving Credit
Facility. We believe that this added liquidity combined with our existing cash
and cash equivalents and short-term investment balances, along with cash
generated from operations, will be sufficient to meet our ongoing operating
requirements for at least the next twelve months, inclusive of dividend
payments, debt service, content production activities, and planned capital
expenditures.

As it relates to our Convertible Notes, which pursuant to the terms are
currently convertible, we believe that if note holders elected to convert their
notes within the next twelve months, the Company has sufficient means to settle
the Convertible Notes using any combination of existing cash and cash
equivalents and investment balances, cash generated from operations or through
the issuance of shares.

Debt Summary and Borrowing Capacity

The Company has $215.0 million aggregate principal amount of 3.375% convertible
senior notes (the “Convertible Notes”) due December 15, 2023. See Note 13,
Convertible Debt, and Note 5, Earnings Per Share, in the Notes to Consolidated
Financial Statements for further information on the Convertible Notes, including
the dilutive nature of the Convertible Notes.

On May 24, 2019, the Company entered into an amended and restated $200.0 million
senior unsecured revolving credit facility with a syndicated group of banks,
with JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. acting as Administrative Agent (the “Revolving
Credit Facility”). The Revolving Credit Facility has a maturity date of May 24,
2024
. On April 16, 2020, as a precautionary measure to further strengthen
liquidity due to the impact of COVID-19, the Company borrowed $200.0 million
under its Revolving Credit Facility. As of June 30, 2020, the Company was in
compliance with the provisions of our Revolving Credit Facility and there was
$200.0 million outstanding.

In September 2016, the Company acquired land and a building located in Stamford,
Connecticut
adjacent to our production facility. In connection with the
acquisition, we assumed future obligations under a loan agreement, in the
principal amount of $23.0 million, which loan is secured by a mortgage on the
property. Pursuant to the loan agreement, the assets of WWE Real Estate, a
subsidiary of the Company, represent collateral for the underlying mortgage,
therefore these assets will not be available to satisfy debts and obligations
due to any other creditors of the Company. As of June 30, 2020 and December 31,
2019
, the amounts outstanding of the mortgage were $22.3 million and $22.5
million
, respectively.

In 2013, the Company entered into a $31.6 million promissory note (the “Aircraft
Note”) with Citizens Asset Finance, Inc., for the purchase of a 2007 Bombardier
Global 5000 aircraft and refurbishments. In August 2017, the Aircraft Note was
assigned to Fifth Third Equipment Finance Company. The Aircraft Note is secured
by a first priority perfected security interest in the purchased aircraft. As of
June 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019, the amounts outstanding under the Aircraft
Note were $0.8 million and $3.2 million, respectively.

Cash Flows from Operating Activities

Cash generated from operating activities was $140.7 million in the six months
ended June 30, 2020, as compared to cash used in operating activities of $0.9
million
for the corresponding period in the prior year. The $141.6 million
increase in the current year period was primarily driven by improved operating
performance, including the renewal of our key domestic distribution agreements
of our flagship programs, RAW and SmackDown, coupled with changes in our working
capital associated with the timing of collections of accounts receivable.


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In the current year period, we spent $14.7 million on content production
activities, including Total Bellas Seasons 5 and 6, Miz & Mrs. Season 2, Rumble,
and various programs for WWE Network, as compared to $15.7 million in the prior
year period. We anticipate spending approximately $15 million to $25 million on
content production activities during the remainder of the current year. We
received content production incentives of $0.4 million in the current year
period, as compared to $0.7 million received in the prior year period. We
anticipate receiving approximately $15 million to $20 million of content
production related incentives during the remainder of the year.

Our accounts receivable represents a significant portion of our current assets
and relate principally to a limited number of distributors and licensees. At
June 30, 2020, our largest receivable balance from customers was 51% of our
gross accounts receivable. Changes in the financial condition or operations of
our distributors, customers or licensees may result in increased delayed
payments or non-payments which would adversely impact our cash flows from
operating activities and/or our results of operations. We believe credit risk
with respect to accounts receivable is limited due to the generally high credit
quality of the Company’s major customers.

Cash Flows from Investing Activities

Cash provided by investing activities was $21.2 million in the six months ended
June 30, 2020, as compared to cash used of $42.5 million in the prior year
period. During the current year period, we received proceeds from the maturities
of our short-term investments of $67.7 million and purchased $31.0 million of
new investments, as compared to proceeds of $58.8 million and purchases of $63.6
million
in the prior year period. Capital expenditures decreased by $21.3
million
in the current year period. The prior year period included additional
spending to support the Company’s workplace and technology related strategic
initiatives. Due to the uncertainty created from the COVID-19 pandemic, we have
temporarily delayed construction activity on the Company’s new global
headquarters space in Stamford, Connecticut. Capital expenditures for the
remainder of the current year are estimated to range between $25 million and $35
million
.

Cash Flows from Financing Activities

Cash provided by financing activities was $172.2 million for the six months
ended June 30, 2020, as compared to cash used of $25.8 million for the prior
year period. The Company received proceeds of $200.0 million from borrowings
under the Revolving Credit Facility during the current year period. The Company
made dividend payments of $18.6 million and $18.7 million during the six months
ended June 30, 2020 and 2019, respectively. Additionally, the Company made
employee payroll withholding tax payments of $2.6 million in the current year
period related to the net settlement upon vesting of employee equity awards.

Contractual Obligations

Other than for obligations in the ordinary course of business, there have been
no significant changes to our contractual obligations that were previously
disclosed in our Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31,
2019
.

Application of Critical Accounting Policies

Other than the revisions to our content production asset accounting policy, as
disclosed in Note 9, Content Production Assets, Net, in the Notes to
Consolidated Financial Statements, there have been no significant changes to our
critical accounting policies that were previously disclosed in our Report on
Form 10-K for our fiscal year ended December 31, 2019 or in the methodology used
in formulating these significant judgments and estimates that affect the
application of these policies.

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

The information set forth under Note 2 to the Consolidated Financial Statements
under the caption “Recent Accounting Pronouncements” is incorporated herein by
reference.


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Cautionary Statement for Purposes of the “Safe Harbor” Provisions of the Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995

The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a “safe harbor”
for certain statements that are forward-looking and are not based on historical
facts. When used in this Form 10-K and our other SEC filings, our press releases
and comments made in earnings calls, investor presentations or otherwise to the
public, the words “may,” “will,” “could,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “continue,”
“project,” “intend,” “estimate,” “believe,” “expect” and similar expressions are
intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all
forward-looking statements contain such words. These statements relate to our
future plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and are not historical
facts and accordingly involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties and
other factors that may cause the actual results or the performance by us to be
materially different from future results or performance expressed or implied by
such forward-looking statements. The following factors, among others, could
cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in
forward-looking statements made in this Form 10-K and our other SEC filings, in
press releases, earnings calls and other statements made by our authorized
officers: (i) risks relating to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on our
business, results of operations and financial condition; (ii) risks relating to
entering, maintaining and renewing major distribution and event agreements;
(iii) risks relating to a rapidly evolving media landscape; (iv) risks relating
to WWE Network, including the risk that we are unable to attract, retain and
renew subscribers; (v) our need to continue to develop creative and entertaining
programs and events; (vi) our need to retain or continue to recruit key
performers; (vii) the risk of a decline in the popularity of our brand of sports
entertainment, including as a result of changes in the social and political
climate; (viii) the possible unexpected loss of the services of Vincent K.
McMahon
; (ix) possible adverse changes in the regulatory atmosphere and related
private sector initiatives; (x) the highly competitive, rapidly changing and
increasingly fragmented nature of the markets in which we operate and/or our
inability to compete effectively, especially against competitors with greater
financial resources or marketplace presence; (xi) uncertainties associated with
international markets including possible disruptions and reputational risks;
(xii) our difficulty or inability to promote and conduct our live events and/or
other businesses if we do not comply with applicable regulations; (xiii) our
dependence on our intellectual property rights, our need to protect those
rights, and the risks of our infringement of others’ intellectual property
rights; (xiv) risks relating to the complexity of our rights agreements across
distribution mechanisms and geographical areas; (xv) the risk of substantial
liability in the event of accidents or injuries occurring during our physically
demanding events including, without limitation, claims alleging traumatic brain
injury; (xvi) exposure to risks relating to large public events as well as
travel to and from such events; (xvii) risks inherent in our feature film
business; (xviii) a variety of risks as we expand into new or complementary
businesses and/or make strategic investments and/or acquisitions; (xix) risks
related to our computer systems and online operations; (xx) risks relating to
privacy norms and regulations; (xxi) risks relating to a possible decline in
general economic conditions and disruption in financial markets; (xxii) risks
relating to our accounts receivable; (xxiii) risks relating to our indebtedness
including our convertible notes; (xxiv) potential substantial liabilities if
litigation is resolved unfavorably; (xxv) our potential failure to meet market
expectations for our financial performance; (xxvi) through his beneficial
ownership of a substantial majority of our Class B common stock, our controlling
stockholder, Vincent K. McMahon, exercises control over our affairs, and his
interests may conflict with the holders of our Class A common stock; (xxvii) a
substantial number of shares are eligible for sale by Mr. McMahon and members of
his family or trusts established for their benefit, and the sale, or the
perception of possible sales, of those shares could lower our stock price; and
(xxviii) risks related to the volatility of our Class A common stock. In
addition, our dividend is dependent on a number of factors, including, among
other things, our liquidity and historical and projected cash flow, strategic
plan (including alternative uses of capital), our financial results and
condition, contractual and legal restrictions on the payment of dividends
(including under our revolving credit facility), general economic and
competitive conditions and such other factors as our Board of Directors may
consider relevant. Forward-looking statements made by the Company speak only as
of the date made, are subject to change without any obligation on the part of
the Company to update or revise them, and undue reliance should not be placed on
these statements. For more information about risks and uncertainties associated
with the Company’s business, please refer to the “Management’s
Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and
“Risk Factors” sections of this Form 10-Q and our other SEC filings, including,
but not limited to, our annual report on Form 10-K.

© Edgar Online, source Glimpses

Entertainment

Capturing the entertainment proclivities of racing fans

Published

on

Simon Fraser, XB Net: Capturing the entertainment proclivities of racing fans

Simon Fraser, XB Net: Capturing the entertainment proclivities of racing fans
Image Source: XB Net

Simon fraser, Senior Vice President of International at XB Net, discusses how XB Net is taking the sting out of protracted integration processes for sportsbook operators.

Backed by 1/ST Technology, Fraser walks us through the ways that XB Net is helping bettors to engage in all aspects of horse racing, before explaining how the company plans to use the Breeders’ Cup to broaden North American racing’s international reach.

SBC Americas: For those that might not know, can you tell us a little bit about XB Net? What’s the story behind the company and which markets are you targeting?

SF: XB Net provides a comprehensive North American racing service to international gaming operators across both fixed-odds and pool betting. The service covers the popular codes of thoroughbred, quarter-horse, harness and greyhound racing. Our key markets currently include the UK, Ireland, France, Italy, Turkey, Australia and New Zealand.

We manage the rights and distribute this premium content (data, odds, live broadcast and video streaming) on behalf of a broad progressive portfolio of global partners, allowing them to deploy ground-breaking technologies to attract and educate new audiences.

We’re lucky enough to be backed by a true powerhouse in 1/ST Group, whose consumer-facing brand forms a world-class technology, entertainment, and real estate development company with thoroughbred horse racing wagering at its heart – anchored by best-in-breed horse racing operations at the company’s premier racetracks, including (to name but a few): Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park – home of the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series; Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course – site of the legendary Preakness Stakes.

And now the stateside stage is set for this year’s flagship finale at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships (5-6 November) in Del Mar. It all represents 1/ST’s continued movement towards redefining thoroughbred horse racing for a modern audience, and optimizing the ecosystem that drives it.

As a result, we can draw from an unrivalled network of over 60 North American tracks which account for over 75% of U.S. racing, opening the door to many of the planet’s most prestigious horse races.

SBC Americas: How is XB Net ensuring that it stands out from the competition?

SF: That aforementioned deep well of resources and racetracks isn’t a bad place to start from when you’re trying to positively delineate XB Net from the competition. And as a basic premise, we are planning to work with our partners across the globe to increase the awareness of North American horse racing, both as an exciting sport and as a high-quality betting medium.

By harnessing low-latency feeds from more than 2,500 meetings, showcasing over 25,000 races per year, North American racing is steadily accruing more global viewers and bettors, especially after a spell in which the pandemic has badly disrupted, if not decimated, so many events on the typical sporting calendar. While many of those sports have since recovered from the treatment table, North American racing – which mostly continued unaffected during the outbreak – has largely retained its enlarged audience share.

In the UK, some of that success and enduring retention can be attributed to the popular nightly pictures on Sky Sports Racing, whose friendly, informative GFN was instructive in “home-schooling” many new viewers to North American racing during the lockdowns.

Accordingly, with many heads having been turned by North American racing, the sport is now pulling up a comfortable seat in their wider entertainment choices. Particularly considering the nature of its rapid-cycling events, which conveniently fill the recreational gaps for drop-in audiences who might like a bet. Providing the right content at the right time remains so important, wherever you stick your pin on the international map.

XB Net’s steady stream of short-form premium content captures eyeballs and improves digital hang-time, allowing our partners to engage untapped audiences, deliver 24/7 horse racing, and also guard against any unforeseen impediments to the global sporting calendar.

SBC Americas: Tell us about your EasyGate™ products. How are they eliminating the complexity of North American racing?

SF: EasyGate is a breakthrough multitote technology and software architecture, providing structured race content, betting pathways and secure track video streams to our partners. Long story short, EasyGate navigates an intuitive path through the complexity of North American racing (from streaming formats to different data sources and their multivariate components), and also simplifies access to other content from other countries.

We give operators everything they need to succeed and take the sting out of protracted integration processes – just plug in and go, whatever the channel.

SBC Americas: Tote betting, and arguably horse racing in general, across the UK has had a tricky few years. How is XB Net making sure that racing is still the ‘product of choice’ for your partners?

SF: Our ability to present North American racing as a fixed-odds product allows us to take advantage of the UK market where Tote betting will always be a marginal betting product. Elsewhere, innovation around in-running betting can really allow horse racing to catch-up on any lost ground and reconsolidate its market position.

The complex variables of horse racing have meant this sport, for so long the retention backbone of many operators, hadn’t previously been able to seize the opportunities that other sports have secured with in-play. After all, nowadays, betting products must smoothly transition from pre-play to in-play, which is why operators must employ the latest trading tools and reactive in-play odds to attract modern-day audiences.

XB Net has now successfully trialed a ground-breaking feed that couples the Starting Price with the best of automated trading via Total Performance Data’s (TPD) astonishing array of consequential in-running analytics, including stride length, stride frequency and sectional timings enabled by saddle-cloth GPS tracking. These variables are accordingly harvested in-play by TPD’s machine-learning trading tools whose algorithms train themselves on race pace for precise pricing that delivers a distinct step-change in live fixed-odds wagering.

SBC Americas: How does your company help bolster revenue and support sometimes struggling traditional racetracks?

SF: I’d take issue with the word struggling. On the US side of the pond, the prize money at most tracks is very positive and betting turnover is up significantly. As a core technology in the wider arsenal of 1/ST and 1/ST Technology, XB Net is part of a broader company wide goal to sustain a successful business model while ensuring all stakeholders who work in the industry are cared for and supported.

That means delivering a fresh and holistic racing experience for the fans which captures the entertainment proclivities of every age group at the racetrack, especially the younger generation that is coming through. We are embracing this challenge and opportunity (sometimes two sides of the same coin!) at every touchpoint we have with our customers.

Just take our recent efforts with Historical Horse Racing (HHR) and how these terminals can provide workarounds for their local racetracks, increasing revenues where slots aren’t legal. As a result, HHR games can bolster revenues at traditional racetracks through direct new gaming revenue for operators who are directly tied to horse racing.

We also pay back a percentage to each host racetrack for every single wager placed, using each respective track’s historical races. This is akin to the simulcast live horse racing host-fee structures, in addition to paying horse racing industry stakeholders for the requisite historical race information data (e.g. Equibase).

At the tracks, our teams are working to modernize the horse racing experience, leveraging technology to bring an on-demand, digital experience to our customers. Ultimately, we’re targeting a growing audience looking for quick-fire action and engaging gameplay experiences driven by end-user thinking and the best interfaces that support that. Providing opportunities for consumers to engage in all aspects of horse racing – from live racetrack visits to simulcast viewing, online wagering and mobile – is the best way to grow our sport in a modern world.

SBC Americas: XB Net holds the international distribution rights for the upcoming Breeders’ Cup. In what ways is this agreement helping to broaden North American racing’s international reach?

SF: Self-evidently, our three-year contract extension with the Breeders’ Cup was a welcome endorsement of our team’s efforts over the past few years. The agreement comprises worldwide broadcast and video-streaming distribution rights from the Breeders’ Cup whose 2021 renewal, consisting of 14 Championship races and over $31 million in prize money and awards, is fast-approaching (5-6 November) at Del Mar racetrack in California next month. Del Mar is one of my favourite venues in all of sport, and its most common epithet of “where the surf meets the turf” tells you what sets it apart.

When the standard-bearer for elite North American racing selects you to further broaden the international reach of its world-class festival, you must be doing something right, and I’m pleased to say that sports fans and bettors around the globe can look forward to even more coverage of the World Championships.

You’re even seeing a suite of domestic host broadcasters (for example Sky Sports Racing and ITV in the UK) broadcasting all 14 races this year, which is ideal for growing the sport. Of course, the increasingly international make-up of these fields, bringing the best horses together from all around the world, only adds to the allure and transcendent appeal of the Breeders’ Cup for global audiences.

SBC Americas: And how will you help optimise and increase the returns to North American racing following what has undoubtedly been a challenging economic period?

SF: For us, it’s all about expanding markets and coverage, coupled with enhancements to our cutting-edge technologies. We’ve already launched in India, while we also have new Tote and fixed-odds roll-outs set for Asia and Africa.

Regarding the race tracks themselves, the more we can add to the service, the better-value our proposition will inherently become through sheer economies of scale. Again, we can return these cost advantages to the tracks. That even applies in Australia, where we’ve recently agreed a deal to add thoroughbred racing from the principal racing state of Victoria to our service which runs off the same infrastructure. We’re thrilled to be able to add more world-class contests for our partners, with the Victorian Spring Racing Carnival already capturing players’ imaginations.

As for what’s under the hood, we’re always refining and fine-tuning, despite having some of the most durable and trusted tech around. For instance, we actually just classified our pari-mutuel totalisator and fixed-odds wagering platform as a “legacy” product.

Instead, we’re replacing it with a next-gen wagering platform that will play a key role as 1/ST Technology continues to deliver on our vision to build upon the strengths of our current gambling platform while also extending its capabilities (e.g. quickly adding new bet types) – increasing speed to market, enhanced support of our customers’ needs, and unlocking the ability to efficiently onboard new consumers via verticals such as sports betting, esports, and other emerging opportunities. In short, it will allow us to react to the market with peerless agility.

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Window on Arts & Entertainment: Oct. 14, 2021 | Diversions

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The Majesty of Rock set to perform at First Friday Seminole

SEMINOLE — The Majesty of Rock, one of Florida’s most prestigious bands, will salute the music of Journey and Styx at First Friday Seminole, on Friday, Nov. 5, 6 to 9 p.m., on the main street in front of Studio Movie Grill at Seminole City Center, 11201 Park Blvd. N., Seminole.

Sponsored by Seminole City Center and The Rotary Club of Seminole Lake, this will be the final First Friday Seminole of 2021. The event will feature a variety of Seminole City Center merchants, food, prizes, and games, as well as a special concert by The Majesty of Rock. Attendees are asked to bring their own chairs. Coolers are not allowed. Vendors other than Seminole City Center tenants are not permitted.

The Majesty of Rock features the voice of John D’Agostino, coupled with the exceptional musical talents of four equally sophisticated and experienced musicians. That combination soon propelled the group to become one of the premier Journey reverence bands of our time. The band strives to re-create the exact sounds and nuances of Journey. Their passion for authenticity and attention to detail go a long way toward ensuring that the audience feels like they’re at a real Journey concert.

While the band has enjoyed performing the music of Journey, front man John D’Agostino also loves another American super group: Styx. Turns out the rest of the band are huge Styx fans, too. So, they began adding some of Styx’s best tunes to their already expansive repertoire of Journey material.

CWP to stage ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’






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The cast and crew of the Carrollwood Players Theatre production of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” include, front row, from left, Kaedin Cammareri, stage manager; Jason Goetluck as Spike; and Pauline Lara as Nina; and, back row, Se’a Ryan as Sonia; Stephanie Russell Krebs as Cassandra; Kenneth Grace as Vanya; Kari Velguth as Masha; and Alicia Spiegel, director.




TAMPA — Carrollwood Players Theatre will present its production of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” by Christopher Durang, running Oct. 15-30, at the theater, 4333 Gunn Highway, Tampa.

Tickets are $24. Tickets now on sale at tinyurl.com/vanyacwp. Performances will be Fridays and Saturdays, 8 p.m.; and Sundays, 2 p.m. For information, call 813-265-4000 or visit carrollwoodplayers.org.

“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play.

Middle-aged siblings Vanya and Sonia share a home, where they bicker and complain about the circumstances of their lives. When Marsha, their movie-star sister, swoops in with her new boy toy, Spike, old resentments flare up, eventually leading to threats and chaos. Contributing to the excitement are a sassy maid who can predict the future, and a lovely young aspiring actress who can’t. Audiences will discover why Durang is lauded as the master of mining the absurdities of human folly.

Presented with the support of the Arts Council of Hillsborough County and the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, this production will be directed by Alicia Spiegel.

“‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’ is not exactly a well-known show, and the title can be a bit hard to remember … but audiences won’t soon forget the hilarious storyline,” Spiegel said. “I think everyone will relate to the family/relationship dynamics in this modern comedy laced with emotional baggage and heartfelt moments.”

The cast features Kenneth Grace as Vanya, Se’a Ryan as Sonia, Kari Velguth as Marsha, Jason Goetluck as Spike, Pauline Lara as Nina, and Stephanie Russell Krebs as Cassandra.

“Our cast has been perfecting their characters for almost a year a half since we were supposed to put this show on in April 2020 before the world changed,” Spiegel continued. “Luckily, CWP has decided to put it on this season and we are very ready to entertain audiences. They will be treated to sibling rivalry, a sexy young man barely wearing anything, a clairvoyant housekeeper whose predictions can’t be trusted, and a sweet girl next door who doesn’t know what she’s in for.”

“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service Inc., New York.

Carrollwood Players offers a limited number of free tickets to every performance for low-income families receiving Florida SNAP benefits. For more information, visit carrollwoodplayers.org/theatreforall/.

Syd Entel Galleries to present Borowski glass exhibition

SAFETY HARBOR — An opening reception for a new glass exhibition by the world-famous Glass Studio Borowski will take place Friday, Nov. 12, 4 to 7 p.m.; and Saturday, Nov. 13, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Syd Entel Galleries and Susan Benjamin Glass Etc., 247 Main St., Safety Harbor.

The Borowski’s “Odd Birds Walk of Fame,” a tribute to 20th century celebrities in glass, will run through Nov. 27. The show is open to the public. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For information, call 727-725-1808 or email linda@sydentelgalleries.com.

Borowski is one of the leading modern glass studios worldwide. Stani Jan Borowski transforms the iconic Fat Gonzo light object into the wildly successful Odd Bird Series. The Odd Bird series has continued to grow into a collection of 22 famous celebrities from the world of art, music, media and science. These hand-blown glass creations are a work of art, unique and distinctive. All are wildly imaginative with recognizable characteristics of the many famous characters, such as Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Elton John, Micheal Jackson, and Marilyn Monroe.

In addition to the Odd Bird Series, the gallery will have on hand a huge selection of work from the Borowski art objects, studio line and outdoor collection.

Cool Art Shop presents artisan holiday ornament tree

DUNEDIN — The Professional Association of Visual Artists will celebrate the upcoming holiday season with the annual Holiday Ornament Tree featuring handcrafted artisan ornaments, holiday décor, small gift items, and holiday greeting cards by various PAVA fine art and fine craft artists.

The tree is on display at The Cool Art Shop, 1240 County Road 1, Dunedin, in the Independence Plaza Square, through Thursday, Dec. 23. An open house reception will take place Friday, Oct. 15, 6 to 8 p.m., at the shop.

In addition to the Holiday Ornament Tree, The Cool Art Shop also displays and sells PAVA’s artists’ artwork which is comprised of an impressive collection of both visual and functional art for sale in both 2D and 3D mediums including painting, ceramics, photography, mixed media, drawing, pastels, sculpture, and jewelry in all price points. The artwork is rotated on a 6- to 8-week basis to keep the artwork fresh and new. Shop hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

PAVA is a nonprofit organization run by volunteer artists to serve local artisans and support the arts community in the Tampa Bay area. It provides exhibition, education and grant opportunities for its members. Additionally, PAVA supports local art centers, and is a local sponsor of the Pinellas County Regional National Scholastic Art Awards where scholarships are provided to students for art instruction. Visit www.pava-artists.org.

Mat Kearney concert canceled

CLEARWATER — The Mat Kearney concert scheduled at the Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre on Wednesday, Nov. 3, has been canceled.

Ticket holders will be contacted about refunds. For more information, visit www.RuthEckerdHall.com.

Creative Clay virtual exhibit opens

ST. PETERSBURG — Creative Clay presents “Celebrating Disability Employment Awareness,” October’s virtual exhibit, featuring artwork by Creative Clay’s member artists who actively create, market and sell their work. The exhitib opened Oct. 9.

This new exhibit coincides with National Disability Employment Awareness Month. According to the United States Department of Labor, the theme this year is “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion,” which reflects the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement during the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Creative Clay promotes inclusion by empowering its artists to create art that is exhibited in its Good Folk Gallery, exhibited throughout the community and online, and market themselves as working artists. Many of Creative Clay’s member artists engage in training for potential employment. Creative Clay’s artists receive commission on all works sold.

NDEAM is held each October to commemorate the many and varied contributions of people with disabilities to America’s workplaces and economy. Employers, community organizations, state and local governments, advocacy groups and schools participate in celebrating NDEAM through events and activities centered around the theme of America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion.

Creative Clay’s Virtual Gallery also includes the artwork of many of Creative Clay’s member artists. All artwork is for sale through our online gallery at creativeclay.org.

St. Pete Arts Alliance awards to help young artists

ST. PETERSBURG — Awards received from the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance’s Funding Futures Program allowed 14 talented Pinellas County students to attend an arts camp this summer.

These students aspire to be musicians, actors, dancers, writers or visual artists. Creative Clay, American Stage, St. Pete MAD and others nominated creative, aspiring at-risk and/or low income students to attend their arts programs for the summer while parents of these students filled out applications showing artistic and financial need.

St. Petersburg Arts Alliance’s Funding Futures programs are dedicated to helping students nurture their creative interests and develop their expressive talent by providing funding to eligible students and connecting them to local after school arts programs or summer arts camps.

“It’s not just about the art for these students,” said Tracy Kennard, associate director of the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance. “It’s about gaining confidence, understanding collaboration and feeling compassionate towards others and how the simple act of learning new artistic traits, can teach skills that are the building blocks of a promising future in any industry.”

The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance’s Funding Futures Student Award program is designed to identify and encourage talented at-risk and/or low income emerging artists, ages 10-17 in Pinellas County seeking St. Petersburg programs in the categories of dance, music, jazz, voice, theater, digital arts, photography, cinematic arts, literary or visual arts. Funding Futures is open to all talented artists regardless of ethnic, social or economic background, or ability/disability.

Major funding sources from Tampa Bay Times Employee Matching Gifts, Suncoast Credit Union Foundation, and the Jacarlene Family Foundation have helped build the Funding Futures Grant Program for the past six years. For information on supporting this program, visit stpeteartsalliance.org/donate.

Livingston Taylor, Tom Chapin concert rescheduled

CLEARWATER — Due to a scheduling conflict, Livingston Taylor and Tom Chapin have rescheduled their concert at the Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre.

Tickets purchased for the concert on Friday, April 1, will be honored on the new date, Sunday, April 3, at 8 p.m. Tickets, starting at $29, are on sale now. Visit www.RuthEckerdHall.com.

Sinbad show postponed

CLEARWATER — The Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre recently announced stand-up comedian Sinbad has postponed his upcoming performance scheduled for Saturday, April 16, at 8 p.m.

Tickets will be honored on the new date to be announced soon. For more information, visit www.RuthEckerdHall.com.

Steep Canyon Rangers reschedule Capitol Theatre show

CLEARWATER — The Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre recently announced that the Steep Canyon Rangers concert originally scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 13, at 8 p.m., has been rescheduled.

Tickets will be honored on the new date Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, at 8 p.m. Tickets, starting at $25, are on sale now. Visit www.RuthEckerdHall.com.

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Window on Arts & Entertainment: Oct. 7, 2021 | Diversions

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Dunedin Wines the Blues music lineup set

DUNEDIN — The Downtown Dunedin Merchants Association recently announced the lineup for this year’s Dunedin Wines the Blues event, set for Saturday, Nov. 13, noon to 11 p.m., on Main Street in downtown Dunedin.

The 30th annual Dunedin Wines the Blues will offer attendees an opportunity to walk around the downtown area businesses, shop, eat, and browse a selection of street vendors. This year’s festival will present three stages of nonstop blues, with live music performances beginning at 2 p.m.

VIP tickets are on sale and include unlimited drinks and food as well as access to the VIP lounge area with couches, tables, stage views, big screens and VIP-only desserts and signature drinks. The VIP tent is open from 5 to 11 p.m. VIP tickets cost $125. For tickets, visit www.winestheblues.com.

Following is the music lineup for this year’s Dunedin Wines the Blues event:

Main Stage

  • 2 to 3:15 p.m. — Selwyn Birchwood
  • 3:45 to 5 p.m. — Beth Mckee Funky Time Band
  • 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. — Johnny Rawls Band
  • 7:15 to 8:45 p.m. — Damon Fowler
  • 9:15 to 10:45 p.m. — Vanessa Collier

West Stage

  • 2 to 3:15 p.m. — Ellie Lee Band
  • 3:45 to 5 p.m. — Steve Arvey
  • 5:30 to 7 p.m. — Alex Lopez
  • 7:30 to 9 p.m. — Sarasota Slim

East SBS Stage

  • 2 to 3:15 p.m. — Trey Wanvig
  • 3:45 to 5 p.m. — T Bone Hamilton
  • 5:30 to 7 p.m. — Brian Leneschmidt Band
  • 7:30 to 9 p.m. — Dottie Kelly Band

Performers and show times are subject to change without notice. For information, visit www.winestheblues.com.

Author releases new book, announces book signings

Reedy Press recently announced the release of “Tampa Bay Scavenger,” by Joshua Ginsberg.

You might think you know Tampa Bay, maybe even the weird, wonderful, and obscure parts of it, but get ready to take your exploring in an innovative and interactive new direction. With “Tampa Bay Scavenger,” you’ll embark on a gamified experience in the Tampa Bay area, complete with over three hundred clues to solve spanning seven counties.

From museums to natural wonders, historical markers, bars and restaurants, sports stadiums, and public artworks, you’re bound to discover something new and unexpected. Be the first one to solve all the riddles, take the whole family out on an adventure, or just find a creative excursion for a few hours as you unlock the hidden face of the Tampa Bay area.

Ginsberg — an author and local explorer — brings years of research and a poet’s sensibility to each of his carefully outlined quests. Follow along with the website www.tbscavenger.com and the #TBScavenger Facebook group for a truly interactive experience. It just might be the most elaborate and ambitious scavenger hunt that Tampa Bay has ever seen.

“Tampa Bay Scavenger” is available wherever books are sold.

Ginsberg will host several book signing events in the coming weeks. Book signings are free and open to the public. Copies of the book will be available for purchase. The author will take part in the following book signings:

  • Saturday, Oct. 9, 2 to 5 p.m., at Cueni Brewing Company, 945 Huntley Ave., Dunedin
  • Saturday, Oct. 23, 5 to 8 p.m., at Bastet Brewing, 1951 E. Adamo Drive, Tampa
  • Saturday, Oct. 30, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Clearwater Historical Society, 610 S. Fort Harrison Ave., Clearwater

Studio 1212 to launch new exhibition

DUNEDIN — An opening reception for “What a Relief” will take place Sunday, Oct. 17, noon to 3 p.m., at Studio 1212 Art Gallery, 234 Monroe St., Dunedin.

Participating artists will be on hand. Light refreshments will be served. The exhibit will run through Nov. 28. Studio 1212 is open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit the gallery’s online store at studio1212.org.

Gulfport venue to present Amazing Acro-cats show

GULFPORT — The Amazing Acro-cats will perform four shows, running Friday through Sunday, Oct. 22-24, at the Catherine A. Hickman Theatre, 5501 27th Ave. S., Gulfport.

Performance times will be Friday, 7 p.m.; Saturday, 3 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 p.m. Tickets start at $30. Visit www.rockcatsrescue.org or www.brownpapertickets.com/event/5233235.

The Amazing Acro-cats — featuring Tuna and the Rock Cats — are a troupe of rescued house cats. This one-of-a-kind, two-hour long “purrformance” features talented felines roll on balls, ride skateboards, jump through hoops, and more.

The finale is the only all-cat band in the entire world: Tuna and the Rock Cats. The current band lineup features St. Clawed on guitar, Bowie on drums, Nue on keyboard, Ahi on woodblocks, Albacore on cowbell, Roux on trumpet, and Oz on saxophone. There is even a chicken named Cluck Norris rockin’ the tambourine.

Featured on the Netflix docu-series “Cat People,” Tuna and the Rock Cats have also appeared alongside Stephen Colbert on his late night show, as well as PBS and Animal Planet.

Murals coming to two Pinellas Trail tunnels

LARGO — Creative Pinellas and Pinellas County Public Works have partnered to bring four new murals by Pinellas County artists to the Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail tunnels at U.S. 19 in Tarpon Springs and Alternate U.S. 19 in Palm Harbor.

The artists’ mural designs for each tunnel face have been inspired by public surveys and meetings that were part of the artist selection process that occurred this summer and revealed a community that enjoys the sunshine and outdoor life, and appreciates the scenic landscape filled with Florida native plants and wildlife. The locations for the murals were selected as part of the Pinellas County Public Works Graffiti Abatement Art Program.

“Creative Pinellas is proud to be part of this multi-mural project on the Pinellas Trail,” said Barbara St. Clair, CEO of Creative Pinellas. “It is an opportunity to not only assist in Pinellas County’s effort to combat graffiti, it also brings talented Pinellas County artists in to create pieces that will engage the trail users in a new way. The new murals will add to the identity of the Pinellas Trail as a destination location in Pinellas County.”

The Palm Harbor location, just north of Wall Springs Park, will feature Taylor Smith’s design “Wetland Herons” that includes two great blue herons with an organic color scheme meant to highlight the beauty of Florida’s coastal wetlands on the south tunnel face, while the north tunnel face design by Yhali Ilan, “Island People,” celebrates the coastal lifestyle in North Pinellas through the use of vibrant plant life, people enjoying the beaches, and water related activities.

The Tarpon Springs location, just north of Live Oak Street, will include the design “Sun Tribute” created by Daniel Barojas (a.k.a. R5, Rope5) on the west tunnel face. The design is a stylized representation of the sun, an essential part of Florida lifestyle. Ricardo Delgado’s (Reda3sb) design “Birds and Flowers” also incorporates the sun, setting into the sea, vibrant flowers and tropical birds, to celebrate nature and Florida life on the east tunnel face.

The Pinellas Trail Mural program is a partnership between Creative Pinellas and the County with goals of defeating graffiti, building excitement and interest, and fostering community beautification projects. Since the beginning of the program, local artists have completed two murals in Palm Harbor and one along the Pinellas Trail overpass in Largo.

“Extending the graffiti abatement program to the Pinellas Trail exemplifies the County’s strategic plan goals to invest in our transportation infrastructure, maximize partner relationships and support a vibrant community,” said Tom Washburn, Pinellas County Public Works Transportation Division Director. “We are pleased to partner with Creative Pinellas and the Florida Department of Transportation in this effort to improve the quality of life for our residents and visitors.”

Artists will be working over the coming weeks and through mid-October. Both locations will remain accessible for trail users while the artists work.

For information about the project, visit creativepinellas.org/opportunity/pinellas-trail-artworks/.

Cracker Country to presents annual Tall Tales of Old Florida

TAMPA — Tall Tales of Old Florida will be presented Saturday, Oct. 23, beginning at 6:45 p.m., at Cracker Country, a living history museum found at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 U.S. Hwy. 301 N., Tampa.

Each walking tour will last 60 minutes. This event is recommended for ages 6 and older. Admission is $14 per person and includes a snack. An advance purchase price of $12 per person is available through Oct. 17. Tickets are sold in time blocks. Tickets and more information available at www.crackercountry.org.

Attendees will explore Tampa’s 19th century living history museum by night. Along the way, they will meet storytellers who will spin wild yarns about a few of Florida’s unexplained oddities. A little scary, a little funny and always family friendly, the Tall Tales tour is a Florida history adventure by lantern light.

Cracker Country is a living history museum that represents aspects of home life, commerce and transportation as it was in many rural Florida communities at the end of the 19th century. During the Tall Tales of Old Florida tour, “tellers” will share uniquely Florida stories about skunk apes, misbehaving trains, cow hunting giants and other legendary creatures. Guests will also enjoy a magic lantern show, featuring a turn-of-the-20th-century projection technology that led to the birth of the film industry.

Guests are invited to come early and enjoy Victorian games and activities before their tour begins. Afterward, have a complimentary snack and do some holiday shopping in the General Store.

Chic Décor & Artisan Market set

SAFETY HARBOR — The Fall Chic Décor & Artisan Market will take place Sunday, Oct. 10, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 411 Main Street, Safety Harbor.

The Chic Décor & Artisan Market is returning to its home location in Safety Harbor.

This unique hybrid market highlights some of the best home décor artists, vintage pickers, and indie artisans in the Tampa Bay area. The Fall Chic Décor & Artisan Market will feature over 120 local décor artisans, vintage treasures, and furniture featuring assorted styles like coastal chic, farmhouse, shabby chic, cottage glam, and industrial. There also will be food vendors and live entertainment.

Parking and admission are free.

L.O.L. Surprise! Live show rescheduled

CLEARWATER — L.O.L. Surprise! Live scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 20, at Ruth Eckerd Hall, has been rescheduled.

L.O.L. Surprise! fans in Clearwater will be able to rock out in real life when the all-new hologram concert tour crisscrosses the United States and makes a stop at Ruth Eckerd Hall on Thursday, May 5, at 6 p.m. Tickets purchased for the Oct. 20 performance will be honored on the new date. Tickets, starting at $28.75, are on sale now. Visit www.RuthEckerdHall.com.

St. Pete Arts Alliance to present Second Saturday ArtWalk

ST. PETERSBURG — The Central Arts District, EDGE District, Grand Central District, Warehouse Arts District, Uptown Arts District and downtown Waterfront District will united to celebrate “ARTober” for the St. Petersburg Second Saturday ArtWalk, set for Saturday, Oct. 9, 5 to 9 p.m.

ArtWalk is opening night as some 40 galleries and studios premiere new works, with artists and demos on-site. It’s impossible to take in the entire ArtWalk in one night. Attendees should plan to drive, walk, or take the trolleys to visit the districts of their choice — or utilize the free Downtown Looper, which will run every 15 minutes.

To download the map and list of participants, visit www.stpeteartsalliance.org.

‘Legendz of the Streetz’ show rescheduled

TAMPA — Amalie Arena recently announced that the “Legendz of the Streetz” Tour has been rescheduled.

Originally set for Sunday, Oct. 17, the show will now be presented Friday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m. All tickets bought will be honored for the rescheduled date. The tour will feature hip-hop heavyweights Rick Ross, Jeezy, Gucci Mane and 2 Chainz. Tickets, starting at $50, are on sale now. Visit Ticketmaster.com.

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