Fox News Finishes 2016 as the Most-Watched Basic Cable Network Tom Huddleston, Jr. Dec 15, 2016 The intrigue surrounding the presidential election—and Donald Trump's surprising victory—proved to be a boon to cable news this year. Fox News, for instance, saw its best annual ratings ever, topping not only all of its fellow cable news channels but also every other basic cable network in the process. On Thursday, the news channel celebrated a record year that saw the 21st Century Fox-owned network claim the crown as the most-watched basic cable network, both in terms of average primetime and full-day viewers, according to year-end Nielsen figures. Fox News' final primetime numbers represented a 36% bump over 2015, good for fifth a fifth place finish overall in primetime ratings, averaging 2.4 million nightly viewers, behind only the "Big Four" networks: NBC (7.2 million), CBS (7 million), ABC (5.1 million), and Fox (4 million). Smoke on some of that ...coward.