SEOUL — Comcast Intl. Media has pacted with Korean broadcast group SBS to launch a local version of E! Entertainment Channel in the first quarter of 2009.

It will feature a combination of E!’s regular Hollywood programming, including the “E! News” and “Live From the Red Carpet” shows, combined with locally produced E! formats covering Korean celebrities and entertainment news.

“At a time when the (Korean) industry is set for increased digital investment and pay TV growth, we are certain that the arrival of a localized version E! Entertainment Television will be greatly appreciated by operators and viewers throughout the region,” said Comcast Intl. prexy Kevin MacLellan.

SBS is South Korea’s only private broadcasting company with a nationwide network and operates TV, radio and terrestrial digital mobile TV stations in cooperation with nine regional, private broadcasters.