Disney bans Netflix ads from all of its TV channels except ESPN

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Bob Iger, CEO, The Walt Disney Company

Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Disney is banning ads from competitor Netflix on all of its TV platforms except for ESPN.

The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The decision comes ahead of the launch of Disney+, the company’s Netflix competitor that will cost $6.99 per month (or $69.99 for a full year) and will provide access to movies, original series and new content from Marvel and Star Wars franchises. Disney+ will launch on Nov. 12.

Disney+ is ad free, but ads on other Disney properties, like ABC, wouldn’t be allowed to broadcast commercials for Netflix which could potentially take customers away from Disney+.

Netflix declined to comment.

“The direct-to-consumer business has evolved, with many more entrants looking to advertise in traditional television, and across our portfolio of networks,” a Disney spokesperson told CNBC. “While the initial decision was strictly advertising based, we reevaluated our strategy to reflect the comprehensive business relationships we have with many of these companies, as direct-to-consumer is one element.”

The Wall Street Journal said that Disney originally considered banning ads for all Disney+ competitors. That could have included services such as Amazon Prime Video. Disney will offer a bundle deal for Disney+ that includes access to ESPN+ and Hulu. Disney took over full control of Hulu in May.

The news follows a similar report from The Wall Street Journal on Thursday that said Amazon and Disney are also fighting over terms that would allow Amazon to buy “a substantial percentage of the ad space” on Disney apps. According to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon is not currently planning to offer support for Disney+ on the Amazon Fire TV platform, which is available from Amazon Fire TV sticks and through partners who build smart TVs with Amazon’s software built-in.

Read the full report from The Wall Street Journal.

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