ABC coy on whether it will bid for Sydney New Year fireworks rights

Sydney NYE fireworksThe ABC says it has not decided whether it will tender for the rights to show the Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks display, following criticism of its broadcasts for the last two years.

The City of Sydney has confirmed it is starting a new tender process for the rights to the event, which attracted more than 2m viewers nationally for the midnight fireworks this year.

While the tender has yet to go live it is thought there could be interest from commercial rivals to the public broadcaster, which came under fire for too many mentions of the ABC’s funding cuts, poor vision of the fireworks at midnight and overly long and uncomfortable interviews with guests.

In an opinion piece on New Year’s Day the Daily Telegraph’s deputy editor Claire Harvey called for the rights to be turned over to a commercial broadcaster.

Today the ABC told Mumbrella: “There’s been no plans made for the 2015 fireworks yet. The year has just begun and nothing yet has been decided.”

Budget cuts also make it more likely the public broadcaster will be more cautious with which shows it spends money on.

A spokesperson for the City of Sydney said: “The City of Sydney is still determining the best process to select the official broadcaster for 2015. Our aim is to get the best possible return for our ratepayers as well as the highest-quality coverage to help promote Sydney.”

Nine Network has also declined to comment on whether it will pitch for the rights, which handed ABC a winning audience share for the night, whilst Seven and Ten have not responded to requests for comment.

Alex Hayes


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