The public service status of public television in Zimbabwe has not received the critical attention it deserves in academic studies. This study sets out the principles on which public service television should operate, and in the main argues that unfettered public service television programming is central to the democratic public sphere. Monopoly public service television programming in Zimbabwe is beset by two major crises: the crisis of finance and the crisis assorted with political interference. On the one hand, the problem of finance has resulted in unresponsive programming policies. Foreign programmes dominate television schedules for two major reasons: First, for their affordability and secondly for their potential to attract advertisers. Advertisers have taken it upon themselves to define what should be scheduled on public service television. On the other hand, politicians interfere with programming decisions in factual programmes like news, in so doing undermining public service television's independence in programming matters. The study concludes that the basic obligations and the democratic role of public service television in Zimbabwe are threatened by both the economic and political factors .