Troubled TV sports network Setanta is desperately seeking a rescue package to stave off administration.

The Irish-owned company is reportedly due to make a £30 million payment to the English Premier League later this week, but backers refuse to advance it any more money.

The Daily Mirror reports that Setanta has tried to broker a deal with rivals Sky, in which the latter company would advance a significant sum and gain the rights to share broadcast rights of Setanta’s 46 Premier League matches next season.

However, Sky’s CEO Jeremy Darroch said it was ‘a broadcaster not a bank’.

ESPN is reportedly favourite to take over management of Setanta if it goes into administration, which remains a real threat.

Last week, Setanta failed to pay the Scottish Premier League its final £3 million payment for the 2008/9 season.

Currently, prospective Setanta subscribers can’t sign up online, with an ‘Ooops!’ message flashing up if it’s attempted. Setanta said the service was unavailable for ‘technical reasons’.