In the past 100 years the "ball dropping" on top of One Times Square in New York City, broadcast to all of America (and rebroadcast in many other countries), is a major component of the New Year celebration . The 11,875-pound (5,386 kg), 12-foot (3.7 m) diameter Waterford crystal ball located high above Times Square is lowered, starting at 11:59:00pm and reaching the bottom of its tower 60 seconds later, at the stroke of midnight (12:00:00am). This is repeated in many towns and cities across the United States. From 1981 to 1988, New York City dropped an enlarged apple in recognition of its nickname. It is sometimes referred to as "the big apple" like the city itself; the custom derives from the time signal that used to be given at noon in harbors.
From 1972 through 2007 (except in 1999), Dick Clark hosted televised coverage of the event called Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, shown on ABC, and now renamed Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest for the arrival of 2009. The show did not air for the arrival of 2000 as it was preempted by ABC 2000 Today. From 1956 to 1976 on CBS, Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians serenaded the United States from the ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on Park Avenue in New York City. The Royal Canadians continued on CBS until 1978, and Happy New Year, America replaced it in 1979, continuing until 1995. The song Auld Lang Syne has become a popular song to sing at midnight on New Year's Eve, with the Lombardo version being the standard. NBC also has hosted New Year's coverage; traditionally, the networks' late night hosts have hosted special editions of their regular shows (including a special Central Time Zone-specific countdown on Late Night with Conan O'Brien), but since 2005, the network has opted for a special entitled New Year's Eve with Carson Daly. Fox, CNN, and Fox News Channel also have their own New Year's specials.