For the third time in Eurovision Song Contest history, the event was held in France. After having hosted the two previous contests in Cannes, French Television decided to host it in the capital Paris. A record 20 countries participated in 1978. Denmark returned to the contest after an 11 year absence. Turkey also participated, and no country withdrew from the previous year. For the first time, the show was presented by two people; Denise Fabre and Léon Zitrone. It was the first time contest was broadcast live in Dubai.
Israel won the song contest for the first time with the song A-Ba-Ni-Bi by Izhar Cohen & The Alphabeta. The country received five consecutive sets of 12 points. Israel's Head of Delegation, Rivka Michaeli, admitted though that they hadn't been satisfied with Cohen's song. Michaeli said it was only because all the other entries were "so absolutely awful" that Cohen had won the national heats. When it was obvious that Israel would win, the broadcasting company of Jordan stopped the live broadcast claiming they had technical difficulties. A day later they presented the song from Belgium - which came second - as the winning song.