Other nominees include tennis player Andy Murray, heptathlete Jessica Ennis, distance runner Mo Farah, rower Katherine Grainger, golfer Rory McIlroy, boxer Nicola Adams, sailor Ben Ainslie, swimmer Ellie Simmonds and wheelchair athlete David Weir.
The award, arguably the most prestigious of its kind in the UK, will be determined through a public vote via phone on 16 December 2012.
Wiggins is a hot favourite, this year having become the first British rider to win the Tour de France before going on to win an Olympic gold medal in the time trial. Sir Chris Hoy won two Olympic gold medals, taking his Olympic tally to six – more than any Brit has ever won. Sarah Storey competed in the Paralympics, winning four gold medals, taking her cycling total to six and, including swimming, her all time Paralympic total to 11.
In addition to the main SPOTY gong, other awards will go to Overseas Sports Personality of the Year, Team of the Year, Coach of the Year, Young Sports Personality of the Year and Unsung Hero. Finally the BBC board will choose winners for the Lifetime Achievement and Helen Rollason (outstanding achievement in the face of adversity) awards.