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Britain's royal wedding on Friday charmed many Israelis as well. According to the initial data, the three main Israeli channels captured 20 percent of Jewish viewers.

This is impressive considering that the broadcast time - midday Friday - usually draws paltry ratings in Israel.

Most viewers opted to watch the broadcast on Channel 2, which, according to the early data, registered an average rating of 10.6 percent between noon and 3:30 P.M. For its part, the channel claims an 11.1 percent rating, or 289,000 viewers.

Channel 1, meanwhile, simply covered the event from the studio and did not send a reporter.

Still, it achieved a 6.1 percent rating, nearly double that of Channel 10, which managed only 3.3 percent, even though it sent two people to London.

On the Internet, Channel 2's news operation offered a special broadcast beginning at 9 A.M., which was very popular.

According to initial counts, up to 2 billion people, or even more, watched the wedding, though this number is hard to confirm, in part due to differences in methodology. Viewers from every time zone tuned in to the nuptials, which were screened on 14 channels in the USA alone. Official viewing figures from the U.S. were due to be released later yesterday.

The last television program to be so popular around the world was the final game of the 2010 soccer World Cup.