Record audiences tune in for ABC coverage of New Year’s Eve Sydney Fireworks


Australians around the country and people around the world turned to the ABC last night to farewell a challenging year by tuning into the We Are One live concert, music, fun and fireworks.

ABC TV’s New Year’s Eve: Midnight Fireworks achieved an average national audience of 2.2 million [1.62 million metro] across ABC and ABC NEWS.

The audience figure was the highest average audience ever for ABC’s Midnight Fireworks (since 2013). In addition, a total of 335,000 live streams were recorded via iview across the night.

Audiences peaked at 12:04am for ABC’s Midnight Fireworks.

TV and iview Audiences

  • Last night, ABC was the leading network in the metro markets with a 5 city metro prime-time share of 23.2%. The highest share was in Sydney, with a prime-time share of 29.1%.
  • ABC TV’s New Year’s Eve: Midnight Fireworks was the #1 program of the night and New Year’s Eve: Countdown to Midnight was ranked #2.
  • New Year’s Eve: Countdown to Midnight achieved an average audience of 1.5 million on ABC (Combined Metro & Regional)
  • ABC’s NYE coverage was live streamed 335,000 times on iview last night, which was up +60% on the 2019 NYE result. The ABC Main channel live stream generated 216,000 plays yesterday (119,000 in 2019), which was the highest result for the channel on iview ever!

Sources: OzTAM & Regional TAM Preliminary Overnight data; OzTAM VPM data, live stream based on: ABC, ABC NEWS and ABC ME channels, highest result ever based on daily results across 2017/18 since measurement commenced. Story Stats.

Michael Carrington, ABC Director Entertainment & Specialist, said:

“We are proud that so many Australians have once again seen in the new year on the ABC across television, ABC iview and social media. New Year’s Eve was particularly poignant this year as many Australians stayed at home to mark the end of a unique and challenging year.

Thank you to the more than 180 ABC staff and crew who worked tirelessly to beam the images of Sydney’s iconic fireworks around Australia and across the world. After the year we have had, it is also heartening to see so many people donate to our joint appeal with Lifeline and Kids Helpline. Their generosity will help fund more frontline mental health services and crisis support for people in need.” 

Social Audiences

ABC’s New Year’s Eve 2020 coverage was live streamed directly to ABC TV and ABC iview’s Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts and shared with more than 50 ABC and partner accounts. This included more than 40 of the ABC’s location-based regional and capital city Facebook pages, giving viewers right across Australia the ability to join in the live coverage and bringing the ABC’s vast audience into the New Year’s Eve conversation.

  • On Facebook, the live streams and highlights packages amassed a combined total of views 457,241 across ABC and partner pages overnight.
  • On YouTube, ABC TV’s live stream and highlights packages had 274,000 views at the time of reporting.
  • Audience engagement was particularly strong throughout the night, with over 10,000 comments and shares on the live streams and highlights on Facebook alone.
  • #NYEABC trended number 1 on Twitter during the broadcast, with over 4,300 tweets using that hashtag in the last 24 hours.

Sources: Facebook Insights, Twitter, YouTube Analytics. Numbers correct at 9am 1 January 2021

Families were entertained earlier in the night with Rove McManus, Kiki Masella and Chenelle Carr hosting The Early Night Show featuring a variety show of musical guests and games. From 9.10pm hosts Charlie Pickering, Zan Rowe, Linda Marigliano and Jeremy Fernandez ramped up the celebrations and dialed up the volume, presenting the We Are One live show from the Sydney Opera House and Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl.

Featuring an all-star Australian concert with performances from top musicians including Paul Kelly, Amy Shark, DMA’s, Vera Blue, Emma Donovan, The Teskey Brothers, Ziggy Ramo, Casey Donovan, Odette and Ben Lee.

As the clock ticked over to midnight, ABC crews positioned around the harbour beamed Sydney’s iconic, seven-minute-long midnight fireworks around Australia and the world.

The broadcast closed with a rendition of Auld Lang Syne to welcome in 2021, capping off a truly magnificent night and cementing ABC’s commitment to entertaining Australian audiences.

The ABC welcomed in the new year by partnering with Lifeline and Kids Helpline on a joint appeal to help fund frontline services and crisis support, providing connection and hope for the thousands of people who call both services every minute.

The broadcast helped raise $691,953. If you would still like to support the appeal you can go to or  head over to triple j who have also partnered with Lifeline for the Hottest 100.

So cast your vote for your favourite music of 2020 in the Hottest 100, which will be broadcast on triple j on Saturday 23 January, and donate to Lifeline or buy a special edition Hottest 100x Lifeline t-shirt to help save a life.

Kevin Perry
Co-Creator and Editor of the TV Blackbox website, Kevin Perry is an experienced media commentator focused on TV Production, Consumer Tech, SVOD & Sports Broadcasting. Media enquiries please Call or Text 0428-275-111


  1. Whoever agreed that a rapper can sing about killing yourself when proceeds go to Lifeline needs a kick up the arse, unbelievable


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