they liked the format of the current (and most likely previous too) World Chess Championship match.
Not that Gelfand had a lot of fans, but that "drawing" one's way to the title using "speedier" games rather than the Classical style of 40 in 2 or in the past 40 in 2.5 is just hokey.
A couple million bucks were at stake (but mostly the title), but the expenses of the players were undoubtedly profit eaters as well as the costs of enhanced computer equipment, etc... all used to produce a champion by one rapid game and electronics.
The advantage of the 24 game match is that usually there was plenty of "time" to play INTO the match and so a few wins here or there didn't take one OUT of the chances to win. Here, it seemed like the roll of the dice hung on every game. Is that chess or tension?
I think the players showed capabilities of getting good games but then would allow the opponent to defend like a genius or they would miss their own way. Most likely they were thinking, EVERY game, "What if I blow this?" Real champions don't do this, they have more belief in themselves than that. Time to bring back Tal.
The video commentators King and Martin seemed genuinely distressed about the course of events and what MOST likely would happen... and it did. I would like to have read their mind about what they really thought, in words, because I would've bet it was MORE than "disappointment."
No wonder so many admire the play of Magnus Carlsen.