Check, Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI).

Whether we're talking about a chessboard warning, the $174.6 million tab that is due next week, or a hockey slam, Sirius XM has a lot of checks to worry about these days. Unfortunately, they're counterpointed by a lack of cash balances.

Speculation's also in heavy supply when it comes to Sirius XM. Published reports indicate that the satellite radio operator has been drafting Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection paperwork as interested parties like Liberty Media (NASDAQ:LINTA) and EchoStar (NASDAQ:SATS) ponder their next moves.

Yesterday I went over the four possible scenarios that may play out over the next few days and months:

  • Sirius XM can file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy organization, emerging with a cleaner balance sheet and lower programming liabilities. The downside here is subscriber confusion and the likelihood of wiped-out shareholders.
  • There's always a chance that Sirius can somehow find a way to raise the nearly $175 million it needs by next week on its own. It has embarked on an aggressive campaign to get subscribers to pay up ahead of next month's price hike on secondary subscription plans.
  • An outsider like EchoStar or Liberty -- or even a logical buyout partner like CBS (NYSE:CBS), Clear Channel, or News Corp. (NYSE:NWS) -- can always emerge to invest in Sirius XM, walking away with a sizeable stake in the company in exchange for bailing Sirius XM out.
  • Why settle for a stake when you can swallow Sirius XM whole? The same list of gentleman callers may decide that it's easier to buy all of the company than to deal with any potential conflicts with CEO Mel Karmazin.

The only sure thing is that something important is going to happen at Sirius XM between now and when its February debt is due come Tuesday.

Check? Gut check? Checkmate? How do you think this will all play out?

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz subscribes to both XM and Sirius. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.