NBC Botches Coverage by Airing Olympic Women's Water Polo Wardrobe Malfunction

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent IAugust 2, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 30:  Brenda Villa of the United States catches the ball during the Women's Water Polo Preliminary match between Hungary and the United States on Day 3 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Water Polo Arena on July 30, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Some things are left better off under the water—like all the stuff that goes on below the surface of a water polo match.

NBC found this out on Wednesday, as Yahoo! Sports reported, when they flashed to an underwater shot and showed the nipple of a Spanish player that was exposed as a result of a swimsuit tug by her American opponent.

And there it was, for all the world to see, or at least everyone watching the U.S. battle Spain in water polo. 

There are a couple of shocking aspects to this. The first is that NBC was actually showing something live. In an Olympics where it feels like 95 percent of the coverage is tape delayed, NBC executives have to be swearing at the heavens when one of the few things they show live happens to result in them breaking what I assume is a whole chapter of FCC rules.

The second shocking thing is that this hasn't happened yet. Water polo is rough. These athletes beat the crap out of each other with every chance they get.

I mean, just watch the opening of a match, when a player from each side sprints to the middle of the pool to grab possession of the ball. They completely ignore the ball in what appears to be a serious attempt to drown the other person. 

Sometimes, this abuse happens above the water. More often than not, it happens below the water. It is slightly shocking that every men's water polo player doesn't exit the pool sans his swimsuit. They must have Olympic-grade elastic in those bad boys to keep them up. 

At any rate, as soon as they put cameras under the water, this was bound to happen. I hope this doesn't force them to eliminate these below-surface shots for water polo. They are fascinating.

What they could do is decide not to show any of the underwater shots live, which should be simple enough for NBC to figure out, as they have this tape-delayed thing down to a science. 


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