Jean H. Lee, a global fellow with the Wilson Center and a former correspondent who set up Associated Press' bureau in Pyongyang in 2011, told CNBC that sport was a big deal in North Korea — but she was unsure whether North Koreans would get to see any live events.
"North Korea likes to have as much control as they can over what their people see. They don't like the unpredictability of live broadcasts, except for events that are completely scripted, like military parades," Lee said Thursday.
"The North Koreans won't have the same kind of access to the Olympics as we do. But if their athletes do well, they will certainly be celebrating it."
But that doesn't mean North Koreans are completely shut off from international sports, Lee added.
"State TV airs recorded clips from international sporting events and sells DVDs of Premier League matches. That means North Koreans do get to see what it looks like outside their country to a small degree, including all the advertisements and the fans in the stands."
The perils of live broadcasting
Sports are encouraged by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with a dedicated state-controlled sports channel, North Korean Sport Television, launched in 2015.
"Sports are very popular in North Korea, and North Koreans love to watch sports programming in their spare time, either on state TV or at the library. It's something Kim Jong Un is encouraging, especially among the younger generation," Lee said.