Disney Plus is here. Netflix is watching

From CNET: Disney Plus may be the biggest direct challenge Netflix has faced since the DVD-mailer company reinvented itself as the internet's answer to TV. But Reed Hastings, Netflix's CEO, says he isn't sweating the competition -- he can't wait to get his hands on it.

"I'm not saying we worry about them, we admire them," he said at the Dealbook conference in New York last week. "I'll subscribe, they've got great shows."

Disney Plus, the entertainment giant's $7-a-month streaming service for almost everything it creates, launched early Tuesday. But it's not the only one with Netflix in its sights. Apple launched Apple TV Plus on Nov. 1, Peacock from Comcast and NBCUniversal will join the fray in April, and AT&T's HBO Max is set to arrive in May.

On the war wagon of new Netflix rivals barreling toward the company, however, Disney is the one toting the most firepower. Disney realigned its entire company to make a gigantic bet on streaming, including forsaking the hundreds of millions of dollars Netflix itself was paying Disney to stream the company's blockbuster movies.

The affection is mutual, at least publicly. "Most of us are subscribers to Netflix," Kevin Mayer, head of Disney's direct-to-consumer and international businesses, said Friday during a press briefing. "We admire them greatly. They've created this market that we're now participating in, so they're fabulous."

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