$65 mil fuels TV, pic push for Packer net

Kerry Packer’s Nine Network and Macquarie Bank are hatching a plan to raise up to $65 million to bankroll a raft of projects for the web’s Nine Film and Television production shingle.

About 70% of the coin will be channeled to TV projects, made both inhouse and by established co-production partners. As full owners of the product, Nine will exercise firm control over schedules and quality.

Remaining capital will be spent on film production, which has largely stalled since Nine Film and Television launched in November 2000 with plans to produce five films a year. Only one pic, the ensemble period comedy “Dirty Deeds,” is in the can to date.

Also likely to benefit is Packer’s 8-month-old Hoyts distribution shingle, an offshoot of Hoyts Cinemas, which has three pics on its slate but expects Nine Film and Television to be a healthy supply line.

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