Rainbow Media is moving into Europe and will launch its first overseas TV channel in a major European market in the first-half of 2009.

The channel will be a branded version of one of Rainbow Media’s entertainment brands, which include AMC, IFC, femme net WE TV and the Sundance Channel.

Rainbow is also looking to launch a pan-Latin American service, Harold Gronenthal, general manager of program acquisitions and international development, declared at Cannes Sunday.

Gronenthal said the exact nature of the channel would be disclosed nearer its launch. It looks likely, however, to be a pay TV or DTT service.

Rainbow’s entry into Europe coincides with yet further staff announcements beefing up its branded integration and digital departments, announced Friday.

Ed Palluth, a longtime Rainbow Media exec, has been named senior veep, international distribution.

Additionally, Marco Frazier and Pepe Martin have been retained as consultants for Rainbow Media. Frazier will lead its distribution activities in Europe, while Martin, based out of Madrid, will head up its expansion in Latin America and Spain.

Rainbow’s entry into Europe plays off its accumulation of overseas rights.

“All of the channels have been involved in programming, whether its creating original programs or, with IFC, buying films. We have an expanded portfolio of international rights to provide the backbone for channels” abroad, Gronenthal said.