With VIVO IPL 2019 set to begin this month, streaming platform Hotstar has announced that it is rolling out a new social cricket watching experience. Named ‘Koi Yaar Nahi Far’, the Hotstar service will allow users, irrespective of their location, to invite their friends and family to watch matches online and participate in the Watch N’Play games together.

VIVO IPL 2019, 12th edition of the Indian Premier League, is beginning on 23 March.

“Viewers will get the opportunity to invite their friends and family to Hotstar, enabling them to watch the matches and participate in the Watch N’Play game together. Fans will be able to compete and see where they stand against their friends and family through the new social leader board,” Hotstar said in a statement about its Koi Yaar Nahi Far plan.

READ | Check IPL 2019 schedule for first two weeks

Hotstar says the users will be able to air their views by chatting about a match, or share their Watch N’Play experience with friends and family, and even with experts and celebrities. With a tie-up with Amazon Pay in place, winners of the Watch N’Play games can redeem points.

As a global first, Hotstar claims, it is offering ad targeting for live sports “at a scale like never before”. Advertisers can target 24 different cohorts during the live streaming. Additionally, brands have been provided with an opportunity to engage viewers through contextual branded cards showcasing offers, mini-games, and polls.

Hotstar has also partnered with Swiggy for the IPL season. Viewers can place order for Swiggy Pop menu items directly from the Hotstar app.

“In India, cricket is a very intrinsic part of our fabric and IPL over the years has become one of the largest sporting events globally. Last season alone, an astounding 202 mn viewers watched VIVO IPL on Hotstar, and we expect this number to grow tremendously this year,” said Varun Narang, Chief Product Officer, Hotstar.

He added: “The joy of watching cricket is multiplied manifold in the company of friends and family, something that’s becoming increasingly difficult to do today. We wanted to introduce something special to protect that ethos, and added the interactive, social layer to enhance the cricket watching experience. With a strong technology backbone, and an engaging experience for the viewers coupled with disruptive marketing solutions for brands, we are extremely excited to bring VIVO IPL on Hotstar like never before.”

The matches will be streamed across eight languages, as Hotstar plans to target a reach of 300 million viewers.