(AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

Polluted water. Political instability. Zika virus.

All of the bad news that keeps coming out of Brazil is good news for the company paying billions to the IOC to televise the Olympics in the United States. Every time problems in the host country garner attention _ and that’s been happening plenty often in the months before this summer’s Rio Games _ it’s free advertising for NBC’s coverage in August.

And in this day and age, at least, there’s almost no sort of bad news that would turn off potential viewers. If anything, the opposite is true.

“In our voyeuristic society _ as borne out by the variety of unscripted shows and the way news is covered and the way social media works _ for the most part all of this brings more interest to see what’s going to happen,” NBC Sports Group Chair Mark Lazarus told The Associated Press recently.

Not that he wishes any ill will on host countries, of course. But it’s impossible to ignore that anything that shines a spotlight on the upcoming Olympics also happens to remind Americans that the Summer Games are approaching _ and piques their interest in watching.

NBC’s research has shown that viewers’ awareness that an Olympics is nearing and their plans to tune in are higher at this point of the year than they were for the London Games four years ago, which drew excellent ratings.

“It has clearly brought an awareness and interest in seeing what’s going on down there that’s good for us,” Lazarus said.