Tom Brady New England Patriots
Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, who last played at Gillette Stadium on Jan. 22, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts, will play in front of over 100 million viewers in Super Bowl LI. Getty Images

The Super Bowl is always the most-watched TV event of the year, and that will almost certainly be the case again in 2017. The New England Patriots play the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI Sunday, and well over 100 million people are expected to watch.

The Super Bowl first surpassed 100 million viewers in 2010 when the New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts. Each NFL championship game since then has done the same, though the exact number fluctuates every year.

Exactly how many people will watch Super Bowl LI between New England and Atlanta?

The exact number won’t be easy to predict, but oddsmakers are able to give a ballpark figure. The online betting website has set the over/under at 116.5 million people. The under has -235 betting odds, indicating that the final viewership will likely fall below the estimated total. lists the over/under for the Super Bowl LI rating at 47.5.

Super Bowl XLIX between the Patriots and Seattle Seahawks set a record with 114.4 million viewers, and less than 112 million people tuned into Super Bowl 50 last year. The 2015 Super Bowl posted a 47.5 rating, marking the game’s best rating in 29 years.

The overall viewership will likely be affected by the competitiveness of the game. While last year’s Super Bowl wasn’t very close, the game two years ago was decided in the final minute.

Much of the talk surrounding the NFL this season has been the declining ratings, though the conference championship games indicate that the Super Bowl viewership might not see a major decline. According to, the 2017 AFC Championship Game between the Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers drew 48 million viewers. Despite being a blowout, that’s only 1.8 million viewers less than last year’s AFC title game, which came down to the wire.

This year’s NFC Championship Game outdrew last year’s contest by more than four million viewers.

The Patriots traditionally draw big numbers in the Super Bowl. Before setting a record two years ago, New England drew a then-record 111.35 million viewers in Super Bowl XLVI against the New York Giants. Four years before that, the first Super Bowl matchup between the Giants and Patriots drew the highest rating in eight years.

If the Dallas Cowboys had reached Super Bowl LI, the game would have likely broken records. Dallas had been immune to the NFL’s decline in ratings all year long, and their postseason game against the Green Bay Packers was the most-watched divisional playoff game in history.