Disney will reportedly ban Netflix advertisements from its channels in the coming months as the two companies begin to compete. Disney is making a hard push into the streaming industry with Disney Plus coming later this year. According to a new report by the Wall Street Journal, it will do everything it can to cripple Netflix along the way.
Disney is a massive entertainment empire, encompassing whole companies under its umbrella. Disney holds several TV channels, including ABC, Freeform, ESPN and FX, and it intends to use those to limit Netflix's advertising.
Sources told the Wall Street Journal that Disney corporate issued "an edict to staffers" saying that they could not accept ads from any rival streaming services. That includes Netflix and Amazon Prime, as well as upcoming streaming services like HBO Max and Peacock, expected out next year.
So far, ESPN still accepts ads from Netflix, so the new rule may go into effect once Disney Plus goes live in November. It's also worth noting that ESPN may not view Netflix as a "competitor," as Netflix does not air any sports. Netflix is also ad-free, and has always taken a subtle approach to advertising.
"The direct-to-consumer business has evolved, with many more entrants looking to advertise in traditional television, and across our portfolio of networks," read a statement from Disney. "While the initial decision was strictly advertising based, we re-evaluated our strategy to reflect the comprehensive business relationships we have with many of these companies, as direct-to-consumer is one element."
Netflix has declined to comment on the story so far. The company is competing with Disney on multiple fronts. In addition to Disney Plus and ESPN Plus, the company now operates Hulu, which is a go-to replacement for standard cable among many cord-cutters.
Another tactic Disney is using against Netflix is price manipulation. While Netflix's subscription options have slowly climbed over the last few years, Disney is setting the bar low, offering Disney Plus for $7 to start. The company even ran a special earlier this year where customers could purchase an even cheaper subscription of they paid in advance.
Disney Plus launches on Nov. 12, and kicks off with huge releases like Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar properties, as well as a huge catalogue of Fox material, including all 30 seasons of The Simpsons. There will also be original programming right off the bat, such as the highly-anticipated Star Wars series The Mandalorian, and the MCU series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.