Consolidated partners with DISH Network to offer Big 10 action

*Consolidated customers must transition to DISH Network before Aug. 20!Husker fans are gearing up for a new season and a new conference, and cable television providers to central Nebraska are making sure we don’t miss any of the action. Consolidated Companies has partnered with DISH Network to bring the Big 10 network to their customers. However, customers in Merna, Anselmo, Halsey, Dunning, Thedford and Mullen have until Aug. 20 to make the transition from their current cable to DISH Network, or they will lose their cable all together. Consolidated Companies will be phasing out its cable television service and will begin offering video services using DISH Network. Current customers can continue to receive cable service for a couple more months, but need to transition to DISH Network before Aug. 20. This switch allows customers to have the Big 10 Network in their line-up and be able to watch the Husker football games this fall – something that would not have been available on the existing cable network. “With the cost of programming sky rocketing, the availability of money for equipment replacement and network upgrades was declining,” said Brian Thompson of the Consolidated Companies. “The cost of providing HD and DVR in our small communities would be prohibitively expensive.” According to Thompson, the Consolidated/DISH Net-work offering will provide a rich package of channels at competitive prices; customers will have access to both DVRs and HD programming; and the service will be available to Consolidated’s rural customers.To receive Consolidated/DISH Network, customers need to remain with Consolidated Cable Television service until installation can be scheduled with DISH Network. Customers will receive material describing the packages and pricing in the mail or they may review that information on the company website at or Once customers have selected a package or if they have questions about the offerings, customers are asked to call Consolidated Customer Service at 800-742-7464. Consolidated will continue to provide telecommunications and Internet services throughout its service area, Thompson said. “Our company is excited about our investment in our broadband network,” said Thompson. “Technology is evolving rapidly and Consolidated is committed to increasing our broadband Internet services.” Meanwhile, Great Plains Communications customers in Arnold, Broken Bow, Callaway, Oconto and Stapleton will begin receiving the Big 10 Network June 1. The addition of the Big 10 Network was in response to high demand created by the recent move of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln to the Big 10 Conference. It will air on channel 23. Customers are asked to please call Great Plains Communications Customer Response Center at 1-888-343-8014 for more information. For more information about the Big 10 Network, visit its website at “With UNL moving to their new conference, adding the Big 10 Network was an easy decision. This new channel will provide a one-stop destination for all the ‘Husker’ information and programming our customers want to enjoy,” said Casey Garrigan, Marketing Specialist at Great Plains Communications. Airing Big 10 Conference content 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the Big 10 Network shows more than 350 live sporting events each year including about 40 football games, 105 men’s basketball games and dozens of Big 10 Championship games. In the 2008 football season 86 out of 88 Big 10 football games were nationally televised, according to the Big 10 Network website. The Big XII had approximately 70 percent of their games televised nationally.