The failure of the SBS ad-averaging bill to pass the Senate is getting expensive, with the government committing another $8.8 million to the multicultural broadcaster to make up for money it had hoped to raise by being able to broadcast more ads in prime time.

The bill was put up during the last Parliament, and then-communictions minister Malcolm Turnbull said allowing SBS to average out the number of ads it ran over the course of a day -- that is, allow it to sell more during prime time and fewer during times of low viewership -- would have enabled the broadcaster to raise $25 million over the next five years. It was expected the measure would help SBS make up some of the revenue that had been cut in the 2014-15 budget.