Sept. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Time Warner Inc., operator of the nation's second-largest cable company, is close to dropping the National Football League's network from systems it recently purchased.

Time Warner alerted customers last month it will drop the channel if it can't reach a carriage agreement with the NFL for cable systems purchased in July from the Adelphia Communications Corp. and ComcastCorp. Time Warner set a Sept. 15 deadline.

An estimated 1.4 million Time Warner customers will lose the channel if a new agreement isn't reached by the deadline. The football channel reaches more than 40 million homes served by other cable and satellite TV companies, said Seth Palansky, a spokesman for NFL Networks.

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