Apple TVWill we finally see an a la carte cable subscription service in 2012? If Apple can successfully finagle licensing deals, its much fabled iTV offering may introduce Internet-based content subscriptions with customized channel lineups, according to Sterne Agee analysts Shaw Wu.

Love sports? Order all the sports channels to your heart’s desire – and that’s it. No unnecessary bundling required. If this were to become a reality, Apple would most certainly “change the game for television and give [the company] a big leg-up against the competition,” Wu said.

“Frankly, we are not surprised and believe AAPL should enter the TV space as this is arguably the only major end market the company is not currently participating in a bigger way.”

Apple would need to approach the project in a fresh and unique way, and getting the necessary deals in place would put the company in a position to do so. Introducing the customized channel lineups through the Internet would be one way Apple might tackle the venture, possibly allowing them to integrate iTunes and iCloud into the equation as well. From a hardware and technology standpoint, Apple has all the pieces ready to take on the market, Wu said. It’s just a matter of making the deals official. Previously, Apple approached CBS chief executive Les Moonves about a potential streaming TV deal, but negotiations fell through due to disagreements about licensing.

Articles about Apple’s unknown project have been arriving in waves ever since Steve Jobs revealed he’d “finally cracked” the TV conundrum in his Walter Isaacson penned bio. Just yesterday DigiTimes claimed electronics supply chains are gearing to begin production on a 32 and 37-inch Apple TV for Q2 or Q3.

From DigiTimes: “The supply chain of Apple will start preparing materials for iTV sets in the first quarter of 2012 in order to meet Apple’s schedule to launch the new display products in the second or the third quarter of 2012.”

Customized programming is something Apple is really looking to put a lot of effort into with its much rumored TV, Wu said. If Apple makes it happen, a Siri controlled TV option with a customized channel lineup doesn’t sound bad at all.

Would you go for a customized channel lineup?