Sydney may boast that its New Year's Eve fireworks show is the best, but TV coverage of the display fell far short of spectacular.

Australian viewers slammed national broadcaster ABC's "lame" and "cringeworthy" New Year's Eve entertainment, which was a mix of blatant self-promotion, "embarrassing" jokes and online technical difficulties.

For years, rival broadcaster Channel Nine had the rights to show the New Year's Eve fireworks, but the ABC was given the task of hosting the coverage for the second year running.

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Social media was filled with messages slamming the ABC for a range of reasons.

"Seriously @ABCTV #nyeabc is the worst. You seriously suck. What did we do to deserve this? Oh I know. We stayed home #SydNYE," tweeted another person.

Ironically, the programme pretended it was being run by puppets from ABC's children's programmes and even showed the toys trying to deal with technical difficulties.

Celebrities - and some hard-to-place faces - appeared in an awkward montage wishing Australians a Happy New Year and plugging new programmes on the ABC this year.

"Have a good year and, and watch our show!" one ABC personality yelled out.

"ABC's NYE coverage is a who's who of celebrities... No, literally a who's who, no idea who any of them are," tweeted one viewer.

In the lead-up to the 9pm "family fireworks", the show's presenters, Eddie Perfect and Justine Clarke, led a search for the Playschool character Humpty Dumpty. The egg toy was eventually found on the top of the Opera House.

The stunt fell flat with many viewers.

"What a patronising, cringeworthy presentation for the 9pm fireworks. Just a bit embarrassed for Australia right now," tweeted one.

"And yet again the telecast of Sydney fireworks is totally lame and so badly scripted,' #cringe #abc #embarrassing," tweeted another.

"Every year it's the same excruciating, embarrassing fail," wrote a Facebook user.

Others were disappointed that a technical problem meant they not only couldn't get the ABC on their televisions, but they also couldn't live-stream the fireworks as promised.

- Daily Mail