This paper puts forward a case from the global south into the discussion of public media. It pays particular attention to Bangladesh, an epicenter of a thriving media system in South Asia. From a political economic perspective in this paper I ask: can the state broadcaster BTV be a public media? Based on a combination of methods including in-depth interviews and document analysis, I locate four problematic areas including political instrumentalization, commercialization, struggle for autonomy, and contradictory policy responses â€“ all which impede BTVâ€™s ability to perform as a public media. I argue that this inability has to be understood not as a failure of the state but as a result of colonial legacy, post-colonial transformation, as well as a derivative of neoliberal market-orientation of communications in the global South.