In ratings like the horse races, a win is a win if you have the lead and NBC Nightly News has the lead – by a very slim margin. NBC averaged 7.904 million viewers and an audience of 1.913 million among adults 18-49 in the July sweep – the first one with Lester Holt fully at the helm. While the 8th straight July sweep win for NBC the numbers were so close with ABC World News With David Muir that this is almost a tie between the battling network news units.

Up 1% from last year, this year is the biggest overall July sweep viewership NBC Nighty News has had since 2005, the first summer sweep of Brian Williams’ tenure in the anchor chair. It’s also the best July sweep demo result the 6:30 PM broadcast has had since 2013 with a 6% bop up from 2014.

However, the July 2 – 29 time period result is just 5% more than the 7,515,000 that ABC World News With David Muir drew. The first July sweep with Muir as anchor, that result cuts the difference between ABC News and NBC News by double digits from July 2014. With a 4% rise from 2014, it is also the most watched summer sweep the Disney-owned news broadcast has had in 8-years and is the closet the former has gotten to the latter since July 2008.

Looking at the news demo, NBC’s 1.6 rating was basically steady with ABC, with a 7% difference in the former’s favor. ABC News and Muir garnered 1.821 million viewers in the adults 25-54 demo. Looking at the demo results NBC and ABC are just 92,000 viewers apart. ABC saw a 1% slip in the news demo from last July.

The news was third place for CBS Evening News, which had 6.387 million viewers during the July sweep and 1.423 million in the 25-54 demo. That demo result earned CBS a 1.2 rating among the 25-54s. The Scott Pelley hosted show had a mixed bag result over last July with a 5% rise in viewers but a 4% slip in the demo.