Nine’s next follow-up to Howzat: Kerry Packer’s War will be a drama that pits the former Nine mogul him against his media foe: Rupert Murdoch.
Power Games: The Murdoch-Packer War is set to be announced by Nine next week at its 2013 Upfronts.
The rivalry between the two foes dates back to a brawl in 1960 when Sir Frank Packer was trying to take over the Anglican Press, which owned a printing press that would help Packer take on the Murdoch-acquired Cumberland Press. But when publisher Francis James refused to sell, Kerry and some burly friends were sent down to help him change his mind. Legend has it that Kerry and co broke in and forcefully evicted the people still inside, cut the phone lines, changed the locks and barricaded the windows.
But James called upon Rupert Murdoch and boxer turned editor Frank Browne for help. Despite Packer having been an amateur boxer himself, he emerged with black eyes and a badly swollen face. The brawl made headlines in the Murdoch papers. For the next year Murdoch competed with Packer and Fairfax in the suburban newspaper market, until they decided to carve out the territory between them, setting the scene for a life-long rivalry between Kerry Packer and Rupert Murdoch.
ABC1 also screens Paper Giants: Magazine Wars in 2013 with Rob Carlton resuming his role as Kerry Packer.
UPDATED: Nine has advised details of this story are incorrect, and will correct information soon.