Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

Category: Cable (page 2 of 24)

The Origin of Groundhog Day

Punxsutawney Phil did in fact see his shadow this morning, meaning six more weeks of winter. While Groundhog Day is one of the oddest traditions in the United States, most people don’t actually know where the whole idea started. Great Plains Communications looked to our cable channel, the History Channel for more on the origin of this bizarre holiday and we would like to share a few facts we found.

The idea originally stemmed from an ancient Christian tradition called Candlemas Day. History Channel describes Candlemas Day as a day when, “clergy would bless and distribute candles needed for winter,” with the candles, “representing how long and cold the winter would be”. From there, the Germans expanded on this idea and chose a hedgehog as a way of predicting the weather. Once German settlers made their way to America, they continued the tradition in Pennsylvania, but switching to the locally common groundhog rather than a hedgehog.

The first Groundhog Day celebration was on February 2, 1887 at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. It was created after a local newspaper editor, Clymer Freas, pitched the idea to a group of businessmen and groundhog hunters known as the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club. They found the area of Gobbler’s Knob where the inaugural groundhog has led to the Punxsutawney Phil we know today.

As the idea of a groundhog predicting weather picked up popularity, additional areas have adopted their own traditions of a local creature helping with the annual weather forecast. In Vermillion, Ohio, they have the wooly bear caterpillar, where if the insect has more orange than black coloring on its furry body, the coming winter will be mild. Places have also adopted their own local groundhog to make their predictions, such as General Beau Lee in Atlanta, GA, Sir Walter Wally in Raleigh, N.C., and Jimmy in Sun Prairie, WI.

Just as he saw his shadow this morning, Phil has seen his shadow 102 times in high contrast to the 17 times he has not. No matter if you are bundling up to get through the next six weeks of winter or celebrating the few more weeks for cooler temperatures, Great Plains Communications would like to wish everyone a wonderful Groundhogs Day.

Big Recipes for the Big Game

This Sunday, the New England Patriots take on the Atlanta Falcons at 5:30 PM CT on FOX. To go along with the big game, Great Plains Communications has found some big recipes to please all of your friends and family. From a 50-layer dip that you will need help to assemble, to a six-foot nacho spread, cable channel, Food Network brings you recipes not just about the amazing flavors, but also about making it an interactive experience for everyone involved.

50-Layer Dip


Super Submarine Sandwich


Six-Foot Nachos


We hope these recipes help your hungry game-day crowd enjoy not only the action on the television screen, but the interaction that comes from winning combination of good food and good friends.

If you are not currently a Great Plains Communications cable customer and would like to know what we offer in your area, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

What are Programmer Fees?

Programmer fees and lengthy station negotiations have been showing up in the news more and more as the conversation on Cable TV providers being forced to raise rates to cover these costs continues. Great Plains Communications feels education is key in providing you with an explanation of what exactly programmer fees are and what they mean for Cable TV subscribers.

What are Programmer (Network) fees?

A significant portion of your Local TV bill is passed on to Cable network and broadcast station owners (networks, or programmers). Cable TV providers are under contract with programmers and charged a fee per channel, per month, per customer for the right to provide that station or network to their customers.

  • These fees have increased dramatically at 3½ times the rate of inflation over the last 16 years.
  • These fees apply to stations on your cable lineup and increase every year.

If I don’t even watch most of my channels, why do I still have to be responsible for all of these fees?

All Satellite and Cable TV providers pay each network owner (programmer) a fee for every household that receives a particular network – regardless of whether anyone in the household actually watches it. Rising programmer costs are a situation that all Cable TV providers must address on an annual basis.

Many customers would prefer to pay for only the most popular networks and a select group of quality, special-interest channels that appeal to them. This is something providers would like to offer, but most networks will not allow it. Unfortunately, the programmers often have the upper hand in how their networks are packaged.

For more information on network and programmer fees, go to our website at , or call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

2017 Winter Show Premieres

As the temperatures and snow continue to fall this winter, cable television is gearing up some big winter show premieres to enjoy from the warmth of your couch. Great Plains Communications has picked a few of our favorites full of action, depth and intriguing story lines. We have included the trailers below for your viewing pleasure.


24: Legacy – FOX Premiering Sunday, Feb. 5 after the Super Bowl; moving to Mondays at 8/7c on Feb. 6


APB – FOX Premiering Monday, Feb. 6 at 9/8c


Emerald City – NBC Premiered January 6 at 9/8c


Big Little Lies – HBO Premiering Sunday, Feb. 19 at 9/8c


If you are not currently a Great Plains Communications cable customer and would like to learn more about the services we offer, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 and representative will be happy to assist you.

New Year’s Eve Recipes with Food Network

The year 2016 is coming to an end. As January 1, 2017 approaches, we reflect on where the past year has taken us and where we want to go in the year to come. Great Plains Communications has picked some of our favorite recipes from our cable channel, Food Network to help bring in the New Year.


Tortellini Skewers – Ree Drummond

This make-ahead dish is simple yet delicious. The tomato and mozzarella cheese pair nicely with the spinach tortellini and the pesto sauce pulls everything together for a light bite.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Scallops – Giada De Laurentiis

This dish combines the fruitiness of sun dried tomatoes with the saltiness of prosciutto to accompany the delicate flavor of sea scallops. As Giada says in the video clip below, they are elegant enough for a dinner party and easy enough for just yourself.

How to Open a Champagne Bottle – Ted Allen

Always nervous to open the bottle of Champagne? With these tips from Ted Allen, you will be sure to have it chilled to the correct temperature to lower the pressure and keep control of the cork.


Great Plains Communications would like to wish everyone a safe and wonderful New Year!

Holiday Storage and Clean-Up Ideas with the DIY Network

The holidays bring decorations, visiting family and friends and tons of delicious foods. While it is truly a magical time to spend with loved ones, Great Plains Communications has found some of our favorite cleaning tips and holiday décor storage tips from our cable channel, DIY Network to keep in mind and help take the stress out of holiday prep and cleanup.

With an array of dishes being prepared that can leave stains on your wood cutting board and an odd smell in the fridge, all you need to fix both of these issues naturally is a couple lemons. Watch below to find out how:

When the last minute wrapping is finished, and all the guests have left, it can be a pain to find storage for all the holiday decorations. Make it easy for next year, and use a coat hanger to keep your lights from tangling. Watch this video to learn how:

Need a last minute appetizer idea? What about five appetizers from one block of cheddar? Watch the video below to find out how:

Tech the Halls Social Giveaway

As part of our Tech the Halls promotion, Great Plains Communications is excited to give away an extra gift this holiday season. For a chance to qualify to win a 32 GB Apple iPad Mini 2 with Wi-Fi, all you have to do is like our Facebook page, like the giveaway post, and comment what your favorite Christmas movie is. Whether it is a classic like White Christmas, something animated such as The Polar Express, or even a TV movie such as Runaway Sleigh on the Hallmark Channel, we want to hear from you.


If you are looking for even more good deals this holiday, find the gift that’s right for you:

  • Sign up now for any new Internet, cable, or phone service and receive FREE installation.
  • Sign up for 15, 30, or 50 mbps and receive a FREE month of Internet service.
  • Existing customers who upgrade to our higher speeds will receive their first month of Internet upgrade charge FREE.

Call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483, today to sign up for these amazing offers and Tech the Halls with Great Plains Communications.


Speeds and availability vary by location. Certain restrictions and limitations apply. Free installation for any new service. Free month of Internet service available to new customers only who sign up for 15, 30, or 50 mbps. Existing customers must upgrade to 15, 30, or 50 mbps to receive a free month upgrade charge. Offer ends January 6, 2017. Offer codes CPC1609, CPC1610, CPC1611, CPC1612.

2016 Hallmark Channel Countdown to Christmas

Through all the craziness and excitement of the holidays, it isn’t so much what you get for Christmas, as it is who you spend it with and cherishing the time you have together. That is why the Hallmark Channel encourages family time with each of their Countdown to Christmas movies. Grab a blanket and your loved ones and enjoy the classic romance stories beginning under the mistletoe and new premieres each weekend. Below we have listed the upcoming premieres for both the Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries so you won’t miss a moment this holiday season.

Hallmark Channel – All 7 PM CT

  • Dec. 3 – A Dream of Christmas
  • Dec. 4 – Looks Like Christmas
  • Dec. 10 – A Nutcracker Christmas
  • Dec. 11 – Love You Like Christmas
  • Dec. 17 – My Christmas Love
  • Dec. 18 – Sleigh Bells Ring

Hallmark Movies & Mysteries – All 8 PM CT

  • Dec. 4 – Hearts of Christmas
  • Dec. 11 – Sound of Christmas
  • Dec. 18 – A Christmas to Remember
  • Dec. 25 – I’ll Be Home for Christmas

If you are not a current Great Plains Communications cable customer and would like to learn more about our cable packages, please call the Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 and a representative would be happy to assist you.

Thanksgiving Recipes 2016

Thanksgiving is only a few days away and your friends and family have asked you to bring a dish. They will have the turkey and pie prepared, but ask you to bring a side dish. Great Plains Communications wants to share a few of our favorite side dish and accompaniments from our cable channel, Food Network.

Cravenous Cranberry Sauce – Tyler Florence

With every great turkey comes a tart and sweet cranberry sauce to pair with the savory flavors of the meat. Don’t bother with the gelatinous canned stuff, and switch it out for fresh cranberries and the citrus surprise of orange.

Sausage Chestnut Stuffing – Giada De Laurentiis

Impress your family and friends with this elevated stuffing recipe. While still getting the cornbread flavor of the boxed stuffing we are all used to, by adding sweet apples, savory sausage and texture through the chunks of chestnut, this dish will leave everyone’s taste buds wanting more.

Sunny’s Creamed Spinach Recipe – Sunny Anderson

Looking for something a little different from the traditional green bean casserole but still love the creamy texture? Try this creamed spinach recipe, which incorporates salty parmesan and convenient frozen spinach with the classic crunchy topping of fried onions.


Happy Thanksgiving from Great Plains Communications!

Starz Free Preview

Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur, Outlander, Spartacus, Ash vs Evil Dead, and other top rated movies and shows are what you can expect from Starz. Great Plains Communications is excited to offer a free preview over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend for your family to enjoy! Starting November 23 and running through Sunday November 27, your family will be able to experience exciting new series such as Blunt Talking or a movie classic such as A League of Their Own.

Then if you enjoy having all those movies and original series at your fingertips, we have a deal for you! Sign up for Starz-Encore between November 21 and December 31 and you will be eligible to receive $25 cash back from Starz. All you have to do is send in three months of bills showing you’ve paid for the service and Starz will send the rebate directly to you.

What you get with Starz-Encore service:


Encore Western

Encore Action

Encore Love

Encore Suspense

Encore Drama

Encore Family


Starz Edge

Starz Cinema

Starz Comedy

Starz Family

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