The British Basketball League (2023)

The British Basketball League is a professional basketball league based in London with 10 teams throughout the UK from London to Glasgow Scotland. The teams play more than 225 games throughout the regular season in addition to an All-Star game, Playoffs and a few special “tent-pole” competitions.

In January of 2023, the CEO of the league reached out to Jonathan to design, budget and execute a television production coverage initiative that would allow all of their games to be produced out of one centrally located production HUB in London. With only 4 months before the start of the 2023-24 season, Jonathan began the due diligence process of researching technology partnerships in the UK, dedicated fiber optic installation at all 10 venues, publishing a 52 page RFP, interviewing and hiring staff and providing the league with a season-long financial plan. By August of 2023 the league had an ‘up and running’ Production Control center with a fully designed Virtual Studio capable of taking in all 10 venue game coverage while producing, directing, inserting graphics, announcers and video replays from a dedicated London-based studio facility, all for a fraction of the cost 225 fully produced remote productions would have typically cost the league.

The British Basketball League has since used their ‘state of the art’ high quality television production coverage to close major world-wide distribution partnerships including Sky Sports (UK), NBC RSN’s (US), YES Network (US), NESN (US), Bally’s (US) with several others to be announced. 


Just 3 months after the launching of the Pac-12 Conference’s seven regional and National Collegiate Sports Networks in 2012, DoubleVision Media’s Jonathan Leess was hired as a consultant to help oversee and re-organize the Networks’ remote and studio production, production operations and management staff. While significantly over budget upon his arrival, Jonathan quickly developed a proprietary production remote and studio budgeting program, began negotiating with several television production and technical engineering unions, re-negotiated 3rd party facility agreements, created an in-house travel department, remote and studio payroll department, crewing department (responsible for hiring over 2,500 freelancers per season to fill over 20,000 jobs per season), and created new, innovative, internal efficient remote and studio production and communication processes.  Jonathan also architected and launched  the first-ever of it’s kind, student hands-on, remote television production training program across all twelve Pac-12 University campuses.

Jonathan was soon hired by the Pac-12 Conference and Network President as Sr. Vice President, Production Planning & Operations. Jonathan went on to play a key role with Pac-12 technical and production teams in executing an entirely new, innovative remote production technique whereby over 450 of the 850 remote sports productions were produced from the networks’ studios in SF saving tens of millions of dollars in production costs since joining the company. Jonathan and his colleagues were twice nominated for Sports Emmy Awards  for these innovative and cost efficient technical and IP production techniques. Jonathan was soon thereafter, promoted to Executive Vice President, COO for the Networks overseeing all Production Operations, Facilities, Real Estate and Engineering departments working directly with the President on audience, viewer and revenue growth strategies across all distribution platforms including linear, mobile, streaming and OTT. (See Interview by SVG)


Jonathan Leess was hired by CBS to create the  CBS Digital Media Television Stations Division. As President of the group, he managed all internet, mobile, streaming video, broadband and digital interactive content businesses for the  39 CBS owned television stations. In its first four years since launching, his division helped the CBS Television Stations Group build an audience of over 15 Million monthly unique visitors, 100 Million monthly page views, 25 Million monthly video views and incremental revenues of over $50 Million.

What’s not easily seen is that a large part of this division’s success came from Jonathan’s ability to educate, excite and bolster support from both CBS top management and team members throughout the country.  Jonathan was able to accomplish this because, unlike so many other visionaries, he was sensitive to the significant change this would be for the CBS broadcast groups and took the time and effort to walk them step by step into the future. (See Interview by NAPTE)


As Senior Vice President Disney/ABC, Leess co-founded and managed ABC’s Enhanced TV division responsible for producing interactive TV applications for prime time television programs such as “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”, Monday and Sunday Night Football, “The Academy Awards” and “Prime Time Emmy Awards, “2000 Presidential Elections” and “Super Bowl XXXIV” during live and taped national telecasts to millions of viewers. After one year, the division was profitable through incremental revenues from Tier One advertising agencies and brand marketing clients. (Read Cover Story Digital TV Magazine Interview)


As Executive Vice President of GoldPocket Interactive, a privately held technology company providing synchronized interactive TV technologies and programming/advertising solutions for set top box, two-screen (Internet and TV) and mobile distributed programming, Leess helped develop  new streams of advertising revenues and supervised the creative, strategic &  implementation of new & innovative interactive TV programming.

By developing new business opportunities and relationships with network & cable TV broadcasters, distributors, advertising agencies and sponsors, Leess helped position the company for a successful $80 Million acquisition by Tandberg Television in 2005.


As Vice President Multimedia & Interactive Programming for the ABC Television Network, Leess spearheaded the expansion of ABC Sports into a new on-line interactive programming and gaming business as early as 1994.  He negotiated the first-ever online (digital content) contracts for the NHL, NFL, MLB, and other sports organizations for rights to content, copyrights and production to digital content on America Online. His group produced some of the first-ever live interactive content over the web synchronized with live television broadcasts during ABC’s telecasts of Monday Night Football and World Heavyweight Boxing events in 1995.  Leess also oversaw the development and production of the early computer Interactive games for ABC’s Monday Night Football, Indianapolis 500 Racing and College Football.

As Vice President Production Planning for ABC Sports, Leess developed television production plans for major world-wide coverage events such as the The Olympics, World Cup Soccer, World Alpine Skiing, Monday Night Football, Wide World of Sports, PGA & U.S. Open Golf tournaments and was recognized by his peers when awarded the Individual Achievement Emmy Award for his execution of the 1991 Pan American Games television coverage on ABC and TBS.