The English Premier League says it has sold the two remaining packages of live broadcasting rights formerly held by Setanta to Disney-owned ESPN.

The Setanta Sports board met this morning in a further effort to try to rescue the company from going bust. A spokesman said talks were continuing and a further statement would be issued 'in due course'.

Crisis talks took place over the weekend after Setanta lost the rights to broadcast 46 Premier League football matches next season.

Setanta lost the contract after failing to make a scheduled £10m sterling payment to the league on Friday, and now faces the prospect of administration. Setanta Sports employs 430 people in total, including 200 in Ireland.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Premier League has confirmed that it is 'actively engaging' in a process of selling its broadcasting rights after Setanta failed to make an outstanding payment of £3m.

SPL executive chairman Lex Gold said: 'Setanta has been unable to meet our extended deadline for the outstanding £3m payment to the SPL and, in terms of the notice previously issued, our British broadcasting rights for season 2009/10 and beyond revert to us.'

Mr Gold said the league had wanted to work with Setanta and the broadcaster was given every possible chance, but today was the final deadline.

Setanta's problems stem from having paid too much for broadcasting rights compared to the revenue it was able to generate from viewer subscriptions.

If administration is to be avoided, much rests on the next move by Access Industries, operated by a US billionaire.

Access had been in talks to take a majority stake in Setanta, but needed more time to look through the books than last Friday's deadline to the English Premiership allowed.

If Access were to successfully bid for the rights for the 46 English premiership games, then Setanta may well be saved for the time being.

The prospects for the Irish arm of Setanta look more optimistic, with
speculation that music promoter Denis Desmond may seek to buy the business here outright. He already owns 20%.

The Irish arm also own the rights to different sports here, including Magners League rugby, Formula 1 motor racing, some GAA games and the UEFA Champions League.

Setanta still holds the rights to other major sporting fixtures including the FA Cup, some England matches, the Scottish Premier League, US PGA golf and from 2010, Guinness Premiership rugby.

The firm's woes could cause a headache for other sporting associations as a fall into administration might trigger a fire sale of its other broadcasting deals.