Sky is to freeze subscription prices for pub and club customers for the upcoming football season. The broadcaster announced the news alongside other new products for its pub subscribers. Anyone who signs up to Sky’s premium package Sky Ultimate from 14 July will get free viewing until the end of August 2011. From 1 September, there will be a three-month window in which new Sky Ultimate customers can cancel their contract with one month’s notice. The broadcaster is also offering new and existing Sky Ultimate customers free Sky 3D, a free second viewing card and free Sky+HD box and HD pack. Other new offers for the coming year include: - Free wi-fi from the Cloud to all Sky subscribers - A new “support Your Local” promotion from Sky’s PreviewLIVE website that will see free point-of-sale kits, promoting a team of their choice, to the first 3,000 customers who register for the offer. - Other new features on the site including Team Talk, a dedicated page delivering daily updates to key fixtures, and My Weekly Planner, which lets pubs create their own personalised weekly diary; customers can pick the sporting fixtures that are relevant to their venue, and their own notes and distribute to staff. - New PoS packs for Sky 3D subscribers, along with starter PoS packs for new 3D subscribers. Iain Holden, managing director of Sky Business, said: “Our aim is to give our customers great value for money while helping them grow their businesses. We will continue to add new and innovative products and services to our packaging, to help support our pub and club customers - for example, this year sees the launch of free wi-fi powered by the Cloud from Sky to our customers. “Beyond driving more value into the Sky subscription, by holding our prices, we can also help provide just a little more certainty for bars over their entertainment expenditure.” Last year Sky increased prices in a way that the broadcaster said saw the average pub and club pay 9-11% more, which reflected “increased investment on screen”. However, a survey released by the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers said the average price rise was a “staggering 21.5%, bringing the cost of a subscription to more than £15,000 for the first time”. ALMR strategic affairs director Kate Nicholls said: “For licensees, it has never been about the quality of the product nor even, necessarily, the price you pay. The issue has always been about choice and value for money. "Over recent years Sky has represented very poor value for money – with inflexible contract terms, limited choice of programming to suit different needs. Sky’s commercial customers have failed to benefit from the bundling of services most domestic subscribers take for granted – a point we raised with OFCOM during its last inquiry. "Hardly surprising therefore that our latest Benchmarking Survey shows publicans pulling the plug on poorly performing services. "Sky has belatedly realided that it must work harder to earn the trust of its subscribers and justify the value and benefits of its service – just as licensees have realized they have had to work hard to justify the cost. "Free wi-fi and 3D go some way towards delivering better value for money but are no substitute for more responsive terms. We continue to work with Sky to try to deliver a better service for all existing, new and potential subscribers.” A British Beer & Pub Association spokesman said: “It is a relief that Sky are not proposing further increases, and I hope it’s just the start of a fairer approach to pubs from Sky. "Publicans have had to endure huge price hikes, year after year – 20% last year alone - pushing many pubs to take their Sky services out, a point the BBPA has made very strongly in letters and at a meeting with OFCOM and with the company. We have been promised a further meeting for pub companies with Jeremy Darroch, CEO of BSkyB, towards the end of the year. "It’s a shame, as pubs have been facing huge pressures, and live sport is a key part of the pub for millions of customers, who have a brilliant year of sport to look forward to in the coming year. "Sky seem to have responded to our pressure and are offering new and enhanced benefits like free access to wi-fi through the Cloud. These moves must have our support.”