UPDATE: The two networks struck a deal at the last minute, according to Deadline. Time for a sigh of relief, Joel McHale diehards!

Go ahead and add cable network blackouts to death and taxes under the soul-sucking inevitabilities column. It seems we can’t go a few weeks anymore without some television provider threatening to cut off service for something. This time it’s Dish Network. The DirecTV little sister is currently engaged in a heated squabble over E! and Style networks. The carriage agreements expire at the end of 2010, and neither Dish Network nor Comcast seem willing to budge.

According to Deadline, the cable channels just released a joint statement warning viewers of the likely blackouts, saying if the satellite provider doesn’t come to its sense subscribers will miss out on E’s "marquee January events from exclusive coverage of Red Carpet season to the premiere of the new season of the Kardashian show Kourtney & Kim Take NY, and Style, the home of transformations, from fashion, to beauty to home, featuring all-new seasons of Kimora and Jerseylicious." I was unaware Style was the home of transformations, but I’m aware of it now. Makes me feel like a more informed person.

Look: with all due respect to Style, the real battle here is over E!. While maybe not as prestigious as ESPN or TNT, E! is one of maybe a dozen or so cable networks that providers simply must offer. Withholding it for too long would lead to subscriber cancellations, so it’s in everyone’s best interest to get a deal done as quickly as possible.

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