Sirius XM Radio, the American satellite radio company formed from the merger of Sirius and XM, faces a debt repayment deadline. It which could lead to a takeover by satellite television company Dish Network, or a deal with the company that now controls its rival DIRECTV. Failing that, it could be forced to file for bankruptcy protection.

Charlie Ergen, the chairman of Dish Network has had his eye on Sirius XM. He has bought bonds in the company, now due for repayment, and has offered to inject further investment.

Now John Malone, the chairman of Liberty Media which now controls DIRECTV is apparently stepping in, with the possibility of a bridging loan to stave off the approach.

Sirius XM, although loss making and saddled with debt, with a share price on the floor, could be a good fit for either satellite television operator as part of a bundled offer to subscribers.

That could potentially include mobile television services. Sirius XM also offers a Backseat TV package that provides programming from Nickelodeon, Disney and Cartoon Network.

Sirius XM also has radio spectrum that could be used for other wireless services, possibly in conjunction with other assets.

If it is unable to refinance its debt, Sirius XM has stated that it may be forced to file for immediate bankruptcy protection in order to restructure the business.