Diageo, which owns Guinness and Johnnie Walker, and travel search engine Kayak are among the companies that have footed the bill for free New Year travel in the past. When a sponsor has not been found, TfL has funded the cost.
TfL said Tube services will still run through the night this year.
A spokesman said: “Following the catastrophic impact of the pandemic on TfL’s finances, TfL unfortunately will not be able to offer free travel on New Year’s Eve.
“Services on the transport network will run through the night, ensuring that people can enjoy everything London has to offer and get home safely.”
Sadiq Khan has cancelled free Tube travel on New Year’s Eve as he scrambles to prop up Transport for London’s Covid-hit finances.
Revellers will be charged as the capital’s transport authority counts the cost of the “catastrophic impact of the pandemic”.
The London Underground had been free between 11.45pm and 4.30am on New Year’s Eve for more than two decades, with the cost typically covered by a sponsor. Free travel was culled last year as celebrations were curtailed by coronavirus restrictions.
The move comes as Mr Khan, TfL’s chairman, fears that his calls for a multi-year bailout from the Government will fall on deaf ears.
Formal talks were opened yesterday, but limited to the mechanism by which the bailout would be delivered to TfL rather than negotiations over the quantum of the subsidy.
New funding must be agreed by Saturday December 11. Failure to reach an agreement will leave the authority in default, which could lead to the Government taking control of the body.