Sony Communication Network Corp (So-net) has joined Gaga Communications in the acquisition of Japanese rights to Woody Allen's Sweet And Low, marking the first time a Japanese internet service provider (ISP) has made such an investment.

The deal is part of So-net's strategy to acquire content for its subscribers, which numbered 1,520,000 at the end of November. In addition to providing subscribers with information about the film itself, So-net intends to promote it by running an exclusive interview with Allen, offering a greeting card service and giving away presents on the film's So-net web-site.

Meanwhile, Gaga Communications, which releases the film in February, will e-mail film-related news to So-net subscribers, sponsor events on the film's web-site and offer special preview screenings to So-net subscribers in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and other major cities.

A leading independent distributor in Japan, Gaga has often had similar promotional partnerships with print and broadcast media in the past, but plans to break new ground in the fast-growing internet market with its So-net tie-up.