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Yes, you should be able to watch games just fine. But any advanced features require an interactive capable receiver of which the Tivo is not (I'm not sure if the R15 is either, can't remember). Note that they haven't been making the DirecTivo for nearly 2 years now thus probably why you are finding some things it can't support (mainly interactive stuff if you care about that). But for just watching TV and recording stuff it should still work fine for some time, they are good units, but are of an older generation.
 

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Honestly I don't really think you'll be missing anything with a DirecTivo over the R15. The R15 is starting to get updated to include the new features and fixes that the HR20 has so that should make it better over time.

As for first runs vs. repeats, any DVR is only as good as it's guide data and the DirecTivo's have the same problems with the same shows like Daily Show and ESPN Sportscenter shows and such because the guide data doesn't indentify first runs properly. But other then that, if the R15 has problem with all shows (I don't have one myself so I don't know) then yes, the DirecTivo will be better for you.
 
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