23-27 Sept: Your guide to what’s happened this week in the media, entertainment and technology industry.

Channel 5 and Comedy Central to join BritBox
Viacom-owned Channel 5 and Comedy Central have finalised a deal with BritBox to join the service upon its launch, Television Business International has reported.

The deal will see hundreds of hours of factual and entertainment content from Channel 5 and British comedies from Comedy Central available on BritBox.

The BBC and ITV joint SVoD launches in the coming months and has been called “exciting and distinctive” by ITV boss McCall, who spoke at the RTS Cambridge Convention last week. She explained that BritBox would be very different to offers from streaming services like Netflix or the upcoming Apple TV+.

Facebook to buy start-up CTRL-labs
Facebook is set to buy New York based start up CTRL-labs, in a deal which was reportedly valued at $1 billion, according to Reuters. The start-up, which specialises in machine learning and AI, explores communication with computers using brain signals.

Facebook has said it intends to use the CTRL-labs neural interface technology to develop a wristband that can connect to other devices intuitively.

Sports fans sticking with pay-TV
Fans of sports on TV tend to stick with pay-TV subscriptions, a new report has found according to TVB Europe.

The report from MoffettNathanson Research and Altman Vilandrie & Company reveals that 90% of fans who watch sport on a regular basis are still subscribed to pay-TV, with 70%  subscribing to traditional services, 11% to virtual pay TV services, and 7% being “cord-cutters” who have dropped their traditional pay TV packages.

Channelbox launches on Freeview
Channelbox, a new streaming TV service channel curating a selection free-to-air TV channels is launching, Digital TV Europe has reported.

The channel will be delivered on the Freeview OTT platform, which users can navigate to and access a variety of other free-to-air channels from across Europe, counting France24 amongst the selection.

Disney+ takes US pre-orders
Disney is allowing customers in the US to sign up for its anticipated new SVoD Disney+ ahead of the official launch on 12 November, according to Television Business International. Users can sign up for the the $6.99 monthly subscription or $69.99 annual subscription for the basic package.

However, users interested in purchasing the bundle including ESPN+ and Hulu will have to wait until official launch, at which the service will be priced at $12.99.