E! to reach 7 mil households in Korea

Will be first E!'s fully localized service in Asia

HONG KONG -- A Korean version of E! will be distributed in 7 million households in Korea in 2009 as part of Comcast International Media Group's new venture with local broadcaster SBS MediaNet.

The new channel is CIMG's first fully localized service in the Asian market, CIMG Asia Pacific managing director Christine Fellowes said Monday.

The pay TV channel, which will replace one of SBS MediaNet's existing services, will launch in the first quarter.

The agreement was first announced Thursday by CIMG president Kevin MacLellan and SBS MediaNet president and chief executive Seongwan Hong.

E! Korea will carry a combination of signature E! programs including "E! News," "E! True Hollywood Story" and "Live From the Red Carpet," with locally produced E! formats covering Korean celebrities and entertainment news.

SBS also has a deal with CIMG for Comcast's the Golf Channel.