The BBC has promised viewers they will "never miss a moment" of the London Olympics as it unveiled full details of its 2,500 hours of TV, radio and online coverage headed by Gary Lineker and Sue Barker.

London Olympics coverage will be on 26 TV channels, three radio stations and online, including blanket coverage on BBC1 and BBC3.

Match of the Day presenter Lineker will host the main evening coverage on BBC1 with Barker anchoring the flagship channel's live afternoon show.

The opening and closing ceremonies will be in the hands of BBC1's 10pm anchor, Huw Edwards.

Other presenters viewers will get to see plenty of on BBC1 during the Olympics include Clare Balding, Hazel Irvine, Gabby Logan and The One Show co-host Matt Baker. BBC3's Olympic coverage will be anchored by Formula One presenter Jake Humphrey.

Lineker described sport as the "ultimate reality [TV] show" and revealed he had spent the last few months researching the finer points of less familiar Olympic events such as fencing and taekwondo.

"I've been studying hard for a good few months now. You've got to do it – I'm on three and a half hours every night on BBC1. This is enormous," he said.

"No-one here is an expert on all the sports and no one is expected to be. The fact I have completed at the highest level of sport gives me a slight advantage and understanding and probably a degree of respect from whoever I'm interviewing, which is important."

Radio 1 chart show host Reggie Yates and former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan are also part of the BBC team, along with former Olympians such as Sir Matthew Pinsent and Jonathan Edwards.

BBC1 will be devoted almost entirely to the Olympics for all 17 days of the games with regular BBC1 shows such as EastEnders switched to BBC2.

The main channels will be complemented by a further 24 dedicated Olympic digital services available on satellite, cable and online via the BBC red button.

Between them the 26 TV channels will broadcast 2,500 hours of sporting action – 1,000 more than from Beijing in 2008 – out of an estimated 3,000 hours of Olympics competition.

Flagship events, including the men's 100m final, will also be broadcast in 3D for the first time and in "super HD" at specific venues.

The Olympics will be a big ratings winner for the BBC with the final of the men's 100m, which will take place in primetime on BBC1 on Sunday 5 August, expected to be the most watched event, together with the opening and closing ceremonies.

During the Athens Olympics in 2004, the last in a European timezone, six events drew more than 10 million viewers on BBC1 including Kelly Holmes' gold medal wins in the 800m and 1500m and Paula Radcliffe in the marathon.

As one of the media organisations commissioned to provide coverage of the London Games by the host broadcaster, Olympic Broadcasting Services, the BBC's pictures will also be seen by hundreds of millions of viewers around the world. It also has bespoke cameras specifically dedicated to following the fortunes of Team GB athletes.

The BBC's director London 2012, Roger Mosey, said at the corporation's Olympics launch on Tuesday that its coverage would show that the "claimed obsolescence of the BBC is nonsense". He said that the theme of the BBC's programming would be that viewers will "never miss a moment".

As the event's host broadcaster the BBC's pictures will also be seen by hundreds of millions of viewers around the world.

BBC Radio 5 Live's Olympics programming will be led by Mark Pougatch. Coverage will also feature on digital station 5 Live Sports Extra and a temporary digital radio station, 5 Live Olympic Extra.

Adrian Van Klaveren, controller of Radio 5 Live and 5 Live Sports Extra, said the "ambition is to capture every British gold medal" on the stations. But cricket fans need not fear – Test Match Special, broadcast on 5 Live Sports Extra as well as BBC Radio 4 long wave, will not be affected.

The 24 streamed TV channels will be four times as many as the BBC has previously broadcast during the Wimbledon tennis championships. The BBC will have cameras at all 32 venues, covering 26 Olympic sports and 39 disciplines.

Action not broadcast by the BBC will include some tennis matches — it will broadcast a maximum of five at any time — and preliminary rounds in events such as shooting.

Many of the extra digital channels will broadcast live uninterrupted coverage of events, often without commentary.

Balding denied that the slew of new channels and ways to watch would lead to a more fragmented viewing experience. "That shared experience becomes even more valuable, you have to watch it live. BBC1 will be trying to hit the big live points as they have done at any Olympic Games. The middle Saturday of the Games in Beijing, I was in the studio when we had to suddenly go to the taekwondo and you will still get that," she said.

The BBC will provide extra on-screen information about each sport, helping viewers with disciplines with which they may be less familiar, and alert them to the big events of the day with an interactive online video player.

BBC1's coverage will only be interrupted for its lunchtime and evening news bulletins, when its Olympics programming will switch to BBC2.

BBC1 controller Danny Cohen said the corporation had thought carefully before deciding to devote almost the whole of his channel and BBC3's schedule to the games.

"We discussed it and looked at it in detail. It's only 17 days and BBC1's main purpose is to draw the nation together," said Cohen. "The key is to make sure we are offering viewers who don't want to watch the sport a wide range of choices across the portfolio. That's why BBC2 and BBC4 will focus on non-Olympic programming. It's a limited period and a complete treat."

From Friday the BBC's Olympics website will broadcast continuous coverage of the torch relay around the country.