World Series Cricket was a break away professional cricket competition staged between 1977 and 1979 and organised by Kerry Packer for his Australian television network, Nine Network. The matches ran in opposition to established international cricket, World Series Cricket drastically changed the nature of cricket, and its influence continues to be felt today. Packer was aided by businessmen John Cornell and Austin Robertson, both of whom were involved with the setup and administration of the series. In the mid-1970s, the Australian television industry was at a crossroads, agitation for more Australian-made programming gained impetus from the TV, Make it Australian campaign in 1970. This led to a quota system in 1973. The advent of colour transmissions in 1975 markedly improved sport as a spectacle and, importantly. However, sports administrators perceived live telecasts to have an effect on attendances. The correlation between sports, corporate sponsorship and television exposure was not evident to Australian sports administrators at the time. After the death of his father Sir Frank in 1974, Kerry Packer had assumed control of Channel Nine, one of the media interests owned by the familys company Consolidated Press Holdings. With Nines ratings languishing, Packer sought to turn the network around via a strategy that included more sports programming. Firstly, he secured the rights to the Australian Open golf tournament and he spent millions of dollars revamping The Australian Golf Club in Sydney as a permanent home for the tournament. Jack Nicklaus was hired to redesign the course and to appear in the tournament, Packer was a fan of cricket, which was undergoing a resurgence in popularity during the mid-1970s. In 1976, Packer sought the rights to televise Australias home Test matches and he approached the ACB with an offer of A$1.5 million for three years, yet he was rebuffed. The ACB felt loyal to the ABC, which had broadcast the game for twenty years when the networks showed little interest in the game. Packer believed that there was a network element to the decision. The government-funded ABC could not hope to match a commercial networks bid, determined to get some cricket on Channel Nine, Packer put an offer to the Test and County Cricket Board to telecast the Australian tour of England scheduled for 1977. His interest was stimulated by a proposal to play some televised exhibition matches. Robertson managed several high-profile Australian cricketers such as Dennis Lillee, Packer took this idea, then fleshed it out into a full series between the best Australian players and a team from the rest of the world
Viv Richards, the West Indian who was the second most successful batsman in WSC.
The lights that Kerry built? The NSW government paid for the installation of lights at the SCG in time for WSC's second season, 1978–79.
Examples of World Series Cricket marketing. The popular "C'mon Aussie C'mon" single, which reached the top of the charts, and a World Series Cricket autograph book