Israel's national finals for the 2005 Eurovision song contest averaged the remarkable viewership rating of 22.1 percent of Israeli households throughout its three-hour duration on Channel 1 Wednesday night.
The winner was Shiri Maimon, 24, singing Hasheket Sh'Nishar, which is loosely translated as "the quiet that remains." She will be representing Israel in the competition, which will be held in Ukraine on May 21, 2005.
Peak rating of 26 percent was observed at 10:30 P.M., but it spiked again after midnight, ahead of the announcement of the winner.
About 520,000 people aged 4 and up watched the contest, in which 14 singers participated.
The chief casualty of Channel 1's Kdam Eurovision coup was Channel 2, most notably its investigative journalism program "Kolbotek." Previously on a Saturday night slot, the program had boasted ratings of about 24 percent, but last night it couldn't even achieve 12 percent.
The translated version of the Oscars broadcast afterward did even worse, reaching 13th place on the ratings table, with 6.4 percent of households.
Even the perennially popular news shows suffered. Only Channel 1's "Mabat" show retained its usual rating of 9.3 percent.