Viewership changes have prompted RTHK to try to renegotiate a 16-year-old deal with TVB and ATV to delay its prime-time broadcasts until the late evening. Cheung Man-sun, assistant director of broadcasting, said he hoped that the stations could take a flexible approach to airing programmes after 9pm, if not an across-the-board shift for the 30-minute slot. He said studies show viewership only built up later in the evening nowadays. 'The prime time no longer starts at 7pm. Indeed, commercial broadcasters schedule their popular shows as late as 9pm or even 10pm.' The law requires the two stations to provide a minimum of 30 minutes of government air time between 7pm and 10pm. The current schedule for RTHK was agreed to more than 15 years go. Mr Cheung said RTHK's target viewers were often not home by 7pm. Some programme content - such as sex education - was also not suitable for family viewing hours. Some even got warnings from the Broadcasting Authority. He conceded that it would be difficult to reschedule all RTHK programmes for late evening but hoped the stations could at least be flexible. 'We appreciate that TV stations have their own considerations, such as advertisement returns. But we think that our good programmes would also attract advertisements for them.' Referring to the statutory 7-10pm time slot, Mr Cheung said: 'We have our case, but we want to discuss it cordially. We don't want to use the law to press them.' The public broadcaster will also outsource more television productions, with a target of 30 half-hour programmes this year. A budget of $3.5 million has been earmarked for outsourcing TV and radio productions this year, to be shared by the Commerce, Industry and Technology Bureau and RTHK. The broadcaster also plans to produce a modern version of the popular series Below the Lion Rock, to document changes since the handover. Also in the pipeline is a programme on arts development and the West Kowloon cultural hub.