ABC’s Sydney NYE Broadcasts Starting To Show Signs Of Improvement

After 2 consecutive controversial broadcasts, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has revealed new details of the Australian TV broadcast of Sydney NYE, which may show signs of a significant improvement on previous years even if it is not a total improvement.

One of the new details is the inclusion of an “amazing line-up of music coming from The Falls Festivals”. “The Falls Festivals”, referring to the ‘The Falls Music & Arts Festivals’, is held over 3 days focusing around New Year’s Eve but is not held in Sydney. It is held over 3 locations around eastern Australia – Byron Bay, Lorne and Marion Bay. Major acts this year include Paul Kelly, Rufus, Peking Duk and Hilltop Hoods. The Festival is supported by Triple J, an ABC youth radio station.

The last time a separate music concert was broadcast as part of a Sydney NYE broadcast was in 2011, when a ‘NYE Revolution’ concert was held at Glebe Island on the foreshores of Sydney Harbour. Artists that were broadcast included Pet Shop Boys & Jamiroquai.

Assuming the music acts are shown live, these acts have potential to be on TV:

  • TORO Y MOI (30 minutes maximum)  – Unlikely due to conflicting events
  • PAUL KELLY & THE MERRI SOUL SESSIONS (30 minutes maximum) – Unlikely due to conflicting events
  • PEKING DUK (32 minutes maximum) – Unlikely due to conflicting events
  • ELLIPHANT (42 minutes maximum)  – Unlikely due to conflicting events
  • KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD (42 minutes maximum) – Possible but limited due to conflicting events
  • DJ YODA (48 minutes maximum) – Possible but limited due to conflicting events
  • FOALS (1 hour maximum)  – Possible but limited due to conflicting events
  • BLOC PARTY (1 hour maximum) – Possible but limited due to conflicting events
  • WAX MOTIF (Full 1 hour set possible) – Very likely
  • THE AVENER (Full 1 hour set possible) – Very likely
  • GENERIK (Full 1 hour set possible) – Very likely
  • THE WOMBATS (Full 1 hour set possible) – Very likely
  • HILLTOP HOODS (Full 1 hour set possible) – Very likely
  • RÜFÜS (Full 1 hour set possible) – Very likely

Conflicting events include the 9pm Family & Midnight Fireworks, the ABC3-dedicated half-hour between 8:30pm & 9pm as well as outside of broadcast times.

The above acts as well as the unlisted acts that are held earlier do have potential to be on TV if the broadcast of them is delayed, which was what Channel Nine did in 2011, when they had the Sydney NYE Australian TV broadcast rights.

The only disappointing aspect of this is that the ABC currently seem to still not be showing the official Sydney NYE music acts live from the VIP Viewing Area at Dawes Point on the Sydney Harbour foreshore. In previous years, these acts are shown on the Telstra YouTube live stream (probably due to exclusivity rights which is likely to be the same this year) and included headliners such as Empire Of The Sun, Art Vs Science & The Temper Trap.

Either way, with live music acts on TV the broadcast should be much more engaging for a ‘NYE’ audience than in previous years – it now all depends on ABC’s choice of acts and scheduling. If the acts aren’t well known around Australia (even if they are well known to a Triple J audience), the acts may be not worth tuning in for some people causing some minor outrage. In regards to scheduling, if ‘The 2015 Pub Quiz’ is shown largely between 9:08pm and 10:30pm, viewers may tune out and not return until Midnight and thus missing out on the music acts broadcast after 10:30pm. This is just one possible scheduling scenario – the one just mentioned being the worst possible schedule.

More details including precise timings of musical performances are expected to be released by the ABC in the coming weeks.

Adding to this news, the already announced stand alone host of Eddie Perfect & a dedicated ABC3/family-friendly start to the broadcast until the conclusion of the 9pm Family Fireworks should see the broadcast being more family-friendly and removed of the risk of poor chemistry/dynamics between hosts. It could also see the addition of potentially more comedy throughout the broadcast due to Eddie Perfect being the sole host.

ABC though will have to remember that Sydney NYE’s Midnight Fireworks is an event that is universally acclaimed, meaning that children may stay up for the Midnight Fireworks so the ABC has to ensure the whole broadcast is family-friendly regardless of the time slots. Another disappointing aspect is that with an ABC3-dedicated start to the broadcast, there is a slim chance that Sydney NYE’s ‘Welcome To Country’ ceremony will be shown in full again.

In the end, this is just small details of the broadcast. Once the major release of broadcast details occurs, we’ll get a better view of the broadcast but it all comes down to the ABC’s final directing of the broadcast.

Whilst it does not ‘improve’ the ABC’s NYE broadcast regardless, the other new details that the ABC announced include that:

  • The broadcast will be filmed on the Sydney Opera House forecourt & at the Lord Mayor’s Party.
  • The ‘2015 Pub Quiz’ segments of the broadcast will be hosted by Lawrence Mooney with panellists including Alan Brough, Michala Banas, Emma Alberici, Nazeem Hussain, Luke McGregor and Tom Ballard.
  • The broadcast will be available later to watch on iView.

And lastly, remember that currently the only parts of this year’s ABC NYE broadcast that will be seen overseas are of the 9pm Family & Midnight Fireworks.