"SUB-standard coverage, simulated sex, bad language and gross innuendo yesterday had Channel Ten's inaugural coverage of the New Year party being labelled the worst ever.
Viewers yesterday inundated Sydney radio stations with complaints after the family-style show, screened by the Nine Network in previous years, was replaced with one pitched at a younger demographic.
But the audience Ten was aiming for was anywhere but in front of a TV.
"They just treated the punters with utter contempt," caller Tony told 2GB.
The harshest criticism was reserved for the antics of Channel 9 star Bert Newton's son Matthew, who appeared on the John Foreman Show, aired between the 9pm and midnight fireworks.
Callers to 2GB yesterday said the noted party animal simulated oral sex with Foreman while the two sat at a piano.
Many claimed he also appeared to be affected by alcohol.
His antics follow former Ten Video Hits presenter Axle Whitehead exposing himself during the ARIA awards. He left the company soon afterwards.
Caller David, from Padstow, said Newton pretended to play the piano with his penis.
He said he rang to complain because Ten had given no indication of what was coming.
The Daily Telegraph understands the John Foreman Show was recorded several days ago, giving the broadcaster the opportunity to warn viewers about the content.
Radio station 2GB averaged more than 10 complaints an hour.
Caller Sally was critical of a promo for a new musical based on the film Priscilla - Queen of the Desert, screened at 9.25pm.
"It was just straight out sexual ... men dressed as women with great big boobs and whatever," she said.
During the promo, the characters said: "Get your tits off my feet" and "Go poofters".
A Ten spokeswoman said: "Last night nearly 1.5 million people watched a fresh and innovative approach to Sydney's New Year's Eve celebration on television. Material broadcast was within classification guidelines and deemed suitable for the timeslot."
A spokeswoman for Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore last night distanced the city from the broadcast.
"Channel 10 is responsible for the talent on the broadcast and ultimately it is their call on who is on the broadcast and the City of Sydney had no involvement in suggesting which talent appears," she said."
Maybe it's just me but I don't really think 2GB callers are an accurate cross-spectrum canvas of Australian opinion.
Caller, Ken: Was disappointed by the closure of last night's fireworks. The overall fireworks were brilliant but last night they did not have the waterfall at the end which they have had for the last 8 years. His wife was nearly in tears.