Disney "earlier this year put out an edict to staffers that it wouldn't accept ads from any rival streaming services," a Wall Street Journal report said Friday. In addition to Netflix, that included Comcast, which is planning its own service called next year, and AT&T, which will launch rival service in 2020 as well.
ESPN -- Disney's biggest cable network -- still accepts ads from Netflix. Disney later reached agreements with AT&T and Comcast, the report added, but not Netflix. Netflix, which is ad-free, doesn't carry any live sports programming, so the service doesn't compete as directly with ESPN as it does with Disney's entertainment networks.
Disney said streaming competition was one facet to its decisions about whose ads to run on its networks.
"The direct-to-consumer business has evolved, with many more entrants looking to advertise in traditional television, and across our portfolio of networks," Disney said in a statement. "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."
Netflix declined to comment.
After having its content on Netflix for years, Disney is set to launch its main rival to the streaming giant -- the $7 per month Disney Plus -- on Nov. 12. In addition to Disney Plus, Disney operates streaming services Hulu and ESPN Plus.