Despite Channel 10's large investment in election night news coverage, Channel 2 emerged victorious in the battle for election night ratings.
While Channel 10 broadcast live on a gigantic screen from a special newsroom built in advance in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square, its rating in the first hour after exit poll reporting began at 10 p.m. was only 13.6 percent. Channel 2 led the way at 23.7% and Channel 1 trailed both with 11.8%.
The viewing percentages, which were published Wednesday by the channels themselves, revealed that between 9:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. Channel 2 averaged a rating of 23.5%, compared to Channel 10's 14% and Channel 1's 11.4%. This was a drastic drop for Channel 1, down from 18.4% on election night in 2003.
At 10 p.m., when the exit polls were first broadcast, 23.4% of viewers watched Channel 2, 15.4% Channel 10 and 13.1% Channel 1.
At the minute of peak ratings for all three channels, 27.2% watched Channel 2, 19% Channel 10, and 15.4% watched Channel 1.
Overall, the ratings were lower than expected for election night.
While Channel 1's Mabat 2006 elections summary, which was broadcast between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., held an average rating of 11.3%, the ULEB Cup basketball semifinal between Hapoel Jerusalem Hapoel and Dynamo Moscow, broadcast between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., had an average rating of 8.1%, and a peak rating of 9.9%.