Setanta has until today to pay the latest £3 million instalment on its £31m agreement with the Scottish Premier League. A £35 million instalment is due to be paid to the English Premier League on 15 June.
There are also satellite distribution contracts with Arqiva and Globecast together with the Virgin Media JV Setanta Sports News, produced by ITN.
Setanta is believed to have 1.2 million premium customers, some 500,000 shy of the total needed for breakeven. In excess of two million subscribers are also able to access the channel under “feels like free” agreements with Virgin, BT Vision and Top Up TV.
The problems facing the Dublin-based broadcaster echo the situation that surrounded ITV Digital, the terrestrial pay-TV platform that collapsed in 2002, owing £178.5m to the Football League.